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: Twitter blocks two accounts on its Turkish network

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

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

Apr 18, 2014

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

Apr 18, 2014

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

Apr 18, 2014

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.