RealNews

Internet Dreams Turn To Crime

Vasiliy Gorshkov did not set out to be a thief. Relatives and friends say he had wanted to build a dot-com like those he had read about on the other side of the world — the Amazon.coms, eBays and Yahoos that were becoming household names even in this industrial expanse of dilapidated tenements and factories. But in the spring of 2000, just three months after he sank his inheritance into a quixotic start-up to build Web sites for corporations, Gorshkov was getting squeezed. Few merchants here wanted to hear about the Internet, much less invest in it. What’s worse, Gorshkov told several associates, local crime bosses had started to demand that he hand over a percentage of his earnings to avoid smashed windows, theft of merchandise and broken bones. Full Story

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