NY judge wants to hear victims in cyberbully case

May 10, 2012 By LARRY NEUMEISTER , Associated Press

(AP) -- A judge delayed the sentencing of an eyewear website operator who intimidated customers, saying he first wants to hear testimony from dozens of victims who reported they were threatened with violence, including murder and rape.

U.S. Richard Sullivan said Thursday that the testimony might lead to a harsher sentence for Vitaly Borker, who pleaded guilty last year to making threats and to . recommend a sentence of roughly three years in prison, but Sullivan has said he might impose a harsher sentence.

Borker was about to be sentenced Thursday when his lawyer, Dominic Amorosa, insisted that his client never threatened customers with rape or murder despite claims by numerous individuals that he did.

"I'm going to rape you? I'm going to kill you? I'm going to kill your family? I don't think this man said these things, crazy as he was," Amorosa said. "He did not threaten to take people's lives."

Sullivan did not immediately set a date for what he said amounted to a mini-trial but said it was necessary to explore relevant facts in a unique case. He read aloud several of the , including from victims in Montana and Louisiana, before saying: "I want to hear these witnesses."

said Borker bullied customers since at least 2007 into accepting counterfeit and inferior products. They said he also encouraged them to complain online, a seemingly counterintuitive tactic that he thought would boost his search engine rankings and drive more customers his way.

Prosecutors say well over 200 complaints against Borker had been filed with the over the operation of his website, DecorMyEyes.com.

Amorosa said Borker sold about 100,000 pairs of , making threats to as few as 20 customers when disputes arose.

The attorney blamed some of Borker's behavior on alcohol and .

"You have before you a sick whose sickness contributed to these crimes," Amorosa said.

Amorosa conceded that his client made threats by telling customers he knew where they lived and that he was watching them, but he insisted no harm was threatened.

"Some of this stuff is absolutely revolting, beyond the pale," Amorosa said. "He just exploded in an irrational manner."

Since his arrest, Borker has created a $50,000 restitution fund for his victims and remains on medication for psychiatric problems which include bipolar behavior, he said.

The recent death of Borker's father also has weighed heavily on him, especially since he believes his actions caused his father humiliation and disgrace and probably hastened his passing, Amorosa said. Borker wiped his eyes as his lawyer spoke of it.

Still, Amorosa added, Borker "is full of remorse for what he did to these people and sick over it."

The judge said he may no longer credit Borker for accepting responsibility for his crimes if he concludes that the victims, not Borker, are telling the truth.

Explore further: Study shows role of media in sharing life events

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

Related Stories

NY website owner accused of threatening hundreds

Dec 07, 2010

(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 ...

Hacker gets 6-year sentence for 'sextortion' case

Sep 01, 2011

(AP) -- A Southern California man was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for infiltrating computers belonging to women and teenage girls where he found sexually explicit photos and threatening to put ...

Big-time hacker from Miami sentenced in 3rd case

Mar 26, 2010

(AP) -- For the second time in as many days, a computer hacker accused of one of the largest-ever thefts of credit and debit card numbers stood before a federal judge and apologized for his actions.

Palin e-mail hacker sentenced to year in custody

Nov 12, 2010

(AP) -- A former University of Tennessee student who hacked into Sarah Palin's e-mail during the 2008 presidential campaign was sentenced Friday to a year and a day, with the judge recommending a halfway ...

Ex-CEO of BetOnSports pleads guilty

Apr 01, 2009

(AP) -- The former chief executive of BetOnSports pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal racketeering conspiracy, admitting that the Internet company falsely portrayed Web-based gambling as legal and caused customers to lose ...

Recommended for you

Study shows role of media in sharing life events

16 hours ago

To share is human. And the means to share personal news—good and bad—have exploded over the last decade, particularly social media and texting. But until now, all research about what is known as "social sharing," or the ...

UK: Former reporter sentenced for phone hacking

23 hours ago

(AP)—A former British tabloid reporter was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence Thursday for his role in the long-running phone hacking scandal that shook Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

Evaluating system security by analyzing spam volume

23 hours ago

The Center for Research on Electronic Commerce (CREC) at The University of Texas at Austin is working to protect consumer data by using a company's spam volume to evaluate its security vulnerability through the SpamRankings.net ...

Surveillance a part of everyday life

Jul 24, 2014

Details of casual conversations and a comprehensive store of 'deleted' information were just some of what Victoria University of Wellington students found during a project to uncover what records companies ...

European Central Bank hit by data theft

Jul 24, 2014

(AP)—The European Central Bank said Thursday that email addresses and other contact information have been stolen from a database that serves its public website, though it stressed that no internal systems or market-sensitive ...

Twitter admits to diversity problem in workforce

Jul 24, 2014

(AP)—Twitter acknowledged Wednesday that it has been hiring too many white and Asian men to fill high-paying technology jobs, just like several other major companies in Silicon Valley.

User comments : 0