Brian Krebs reports on the Russian arrest of Pavel Vrublevsky, owner of the ChronoPay service (about whom Krebs has written an upcoming book) for witness intimidation. Vrublevsky is on trial for hiring hackers to attack a ChronoPay competitor called Assist, and he admitted that he phoned a witness in the trial and offered that person money; the witness said "he felt pressured and threatened by the offer."
Where this gets good is where Krebs recounts his own conversation with Vrublevsky, when the Russian businessman offered Krebs money as well:
“My proposition to you is to come to Moscow, and if you don’t have money….I realize journalists are not such wealthy people in America, we’re happy to pay for it,” Vrublevsky said in a phone conversation on May 8, 2010.
When I politely declined his invitation, Vrublevsky laughed and said I was wrong to feel like I was being bribed or intimidated.
“It’s quite funny that you think somehow when you fly to meet me in Moscow or ChronoPay offices that you are in any possible danger from me for being murdered,” Vrublevsky said. “Come to Moscow and see for yourself. Take your notebook, come to my office. Sit in front of me and look around. Because you’re getting information, which, to be honest, is not factual.”
As you can see, Vrublevsky is a master of putting people at their ease with his warm and cuddly demeanor, as is evidenced by his official Facebook profile photo, above.