NY website owner accused of threatening hundreds

Dec 07, 2010 By LARRY NEUMEISTER , Associated Press

(AP) -- An eyewear website operator left dozens and possibly hundreds of customers fearing for their lives as he bullied them into accepting his counterfeit and inferior products and encouraged them to complain online to boost his Internet ranking and drive more customers his way, a prosecutor said as she argued against bail Monday.

Vitaly Borker, 34, of Brooklyn was ordered held without bail after Assistant U.S. Attorney E. Danya Perry described him as the messenger for "absolutely unspeakable and bone-chilling" threats that frightened hundreds of customers around the world, leaving many of them in fear of their lives.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael H. Dolinger agreed there was a sufficient showing that the operator of DecorMyEyes.com was a danger to the community.

He said "someone who would engage in this pattern of behavior is potentially a very explosive person."

A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan accused Borker of threatening customers after he cheated them out of the luxury eyeglasses they were expecting by instead delivering counterfeit and inferior quality goods from the website he has operated since at least 2007.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Borker was accused of cheating his customers and then when they complained, he "tried to intimidate them with obscenity and threats of serious violence." Well over 200 complaints against him had been filed with the , prosecutors said.

Perry said in one instance Borker made threats to the life of a 9-month-pregnant woman and her child. She said he generally subjected people who complained about his shoddy products to a campaign of obscene and intimidating conduct, including telling them he knew where they lived and he would expose them and their families to horrific violence.

Ironically, the prosecutor said, complaints registered online against Borker had the effect of boosting his online profile and making it more likely others would find and use his website.

"In his distorted world view, it would increase his gains," she said.

As Broker was brought into court for an initial appearance before a judge, his wife cried loudly from a back row of the small courtroom.

Borker's court appointed lawyer, Bruce Kaye, said he could understand why the court might be troubled by the allegations about threats but he added: "No one has been subjected to any physical harm. ... To say he's a danger to the community is an unfair assessment."

Kaye said his client was married with a young son and had no criminal record.

So far, Borker is charged with cyberstalking, making interstate threats, mail fraud and wire fraud. The charges carry a potential penalty of up to 50 years in prison.

Perry said Borker could face additional charges as federal agents study what they found in a search of his home.

The prosecutor said investigators found "disturbing" images and videos of prepubescent children in Borker's home, along with five handguns, at least one which appeared to be an automatic weapon.

Kaye said the handguns were actually "prop guns" like those seen in Hollywood movies.

Explore further: Virtual money and user's identity

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Appeals court orders new trial in Brocade case

Aug 18, 2009

(AP) -- A federal appeals court has tossed out the criminal conviction of the first Silicon Valley executive to go to trial in a stock options scandal that triggered charges against at least a dozen executives.

Dozens charged in NY in global computer virus scam

Sep 30, 2010

(AP) -- Hackers in eastern Europe who used computer viruses to steal usernames and passwords teamed up with foreign students who opened bank accounts in the U.S. to snatch at least $3 million from American bank accounts, ...

Recommended for you

UN moves to strengthen digital privacy

42 minutes ago

The United Nations on Tuesday adopted a resolution on protecting digital privacy that for the first time urges governments to offer redress to citizens targeted by mass surveillance.

Spotify turns up volume as losses fall

52 minutes ago

The world's biggest music streaming service, Spotify, announced Tuesday its revenue grew by 74 percent in 2013 while net losses shrank by one third, in a year of spectacular expansion.

Virtual money and user's identity

7 hours ago

Bitcoin is the new money: minted and exchanged on the Internet. Faster and cheaper than a bank, the service is attracting attention from all over the world. But a big question remains: are the transactions ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

geokstr
1 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2010
This concept of personal PR-whoring for the terminally attention-mongering has been known, and highly successful, for centuries, but the internet, and all electronic communication media, have taken it to new levels. Ever hear the very old saying, "I don't care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right?"

Hollywood and TV are filled with such people, who are celebrities that are famous for nothing more than being celebrities. Take Paris Hilton for example, who can't sing or act, and is not very bright. All she is known for is being a shameless fellatrix. Or the other Hilton, Perez, a lying insult machine. Or the Kardashians.

Toss in Monica Lewinsky, another one who made it briefly on TV for nothing more than her "verbal" skills. Or most TV news anchors and "pundits" who are wrong much more than they are right, but are photogenic and relatively articulate. And loud.

Or most politicians.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.