Archive for the tag 'vitaly borker'

Vitaly Borker, the owner of a Manhattan Beach-based online eye-wear retailer accused of harassing and threatening customers, was sentenced to four years in federal prison yesterday.

Borker, 35, was arrested in December 2010 after a New York Times article caught him boasting of his success in attracting traffic and sales to his site,, by terrorizing customers with threats of violence and even rape. Authorities busted Borker days later, and a raid on his Beaumont Street home-office found a trove of counterfeit goods, guns and child pornography.

His actions even spurred Google to change its system for page ranking, so that cyber-bullies like Borker do not benefit from negative online reviews.

In May of 2011, Borker pleaded guilty to two counts of sending threatening communications, one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. The mail fraud and wire fraud charges are because Borker was allegedly selling knock-offs of designer eyewear.

“Vitaly Borker was an Internet shopper’s worst nightmare,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Borker operated behind the veil of the Internet and aliases to first defraud his victims and then, if they complained, terrorize them with threats, intimidation, and harassment.”

The sentencing comes short of the five to six-and-a-half year sentence that prosecutors were shooting for, but much more than the 18 months his attorney expected.

Borker will also pay more than $96,000 in fines and restitution. His attorney said he will appeal the sentencing.

For several months after Borker’s arrest, he was released on a $1 million bond and was confined to his home. The judge banned him from using the internet, and even phone usage was monitored. To ensure compliance, the judge tasked a security guard to stay with him the entire time, at a cost to Borker of $1,000 a day.

According to CBS News, Borker was in tears during the sentencing and said, ‘I had a big mouth. I just couldn’t control it and it ruined my life.’

The New York Times reports that, though Borker pleaded guilty, a slew of hearings had delayed sentencing:

Though he pleaded guilty, Mr. Borker’s case went on for more than 18 contentious months, punctuated by a number of hearings. The latest, in July, centered on whether Mr. Borker had uttered the worst of the statements in the government’s indictment, something he denied.

A handful of Mr. Borker’s victims were summoned to testify about calls and e-mails they had received, which turned out to include a threat to slice off the legs of one customer. Federal District Judge Richard J. Sullivan said, at the end of one day of testimony, that he found the victims credible and so disturbing that he revoked Mr. Borker’s bail, which had allowed him to live at home under restrictions.

… His lawyer, Dominic F. Amorosa, argued that Mr. Borker deserved leniency because he is mentally ill — a doctor hired by the defense said he has “a bipolar mood disorder characterized by impulsive and manic mood symptoms” — and was frequently under the influence of marijuana and alcohol.

Mr. Amorosa also contended that only a tiny fraction of Mr. Borker’s customers were threatened and that his business was otherwise a thriving enterprise. DecorMyEyes had thousands of repeat customers, he said, and millions of dollars in revenue.

“He threatened, horribly, 25 people,” Mr. Amorosa said, suggesting that was a small number, given the scale of the company.

Once Borker is released from prison, he will face three years of probation, during which he will not be permitted to use a computer.

We just got wind of this story and, though we may be  a bit late, we wanted to report on the latest for Vitaly Borker, local internet thug.

Borker was busted for bashing customers who emailed him to complain about the counterfeit sunglasses on his website in May of last year. In response, he made vulgar and violent threats in emails, on forums, via phone and more.

“I was answering personally about 100 e-mails a day and lost control of what I was saying at times,” he said.

On June 8, he was charged for the child pornography found on his home computers at the time of the investigation.

During the cyber bully bust, police seized several hard drives from his Beaumont Street home in Manhattan Beach. Later, when the drives were scanned, police found photographs of various minors engaged in sexual acts.

He is charged with 60 counts of possessing images of a sexual performance by a child and two counts of possessing images of an obscene sexual performance by a child, according to the New York Daily News. If convicted, he will serve up to 1 1/3 to 4 years for each charge.

Additionally, he will serve at least three years in prison for the internet terrorizing of his customers.

Correction (3:35 p.m.): The original headline on this story mistakenly noted that Borker was convicted of possessing the child pornography. At this point in time he has only been charged. Sheepshead Bites sincerely regrets any confusion this may have caused.

Remember Vitaly Borker? This was the internet thug who boasted to the New York Times that his online eyeglass store, DecorMyEyes, found a way to the top of search engines by belittling customers and terrorizing them with threats of violence. Borker was busted a week later in his Beaumont Street home office in Manhattan Beach, where cops found counterfeit merchandise, guns, and what appeared to be child pornography.

Borker pleaded guilty on Thursday to two counts of sending threatening communications, one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud, the New York Times reports. The mail fraud and wire fraud charges are because Borker was allegedly selling knock-offs of designer eyewear.

The months that have passed since Borker’s arrest could not have been easy for the internet menace. He was release on a $1 million bond and was confined to his home. The judge also said using the internet was out of the question, and even phone usage was monitored. How did they ensure compliance? The judge tasked a security guard to stay with him the entire time, at a cost to Borker of $1,000 a day.

Prosecutors are shooting for five to six and a half years in prison when sentencing comes in September. Borker’s lawyer said he expects it to be about 18 months.

Upon pleading guilty, Borker said the root of his problem was stress-related.

“I was answering personally about 100 e-mails a day and lost control of what I was saying at times,” he read from a statement.

As for us here at Sheepshead Bites? Well, we get about 300 e-mails a day, and we can honestly say we sympathize a little with Borker. We can also say we know where all you mofos live.

Ah, the world is back in order. Bad business is, once again, bad for business.

Authorities arrested Vitaly Borker in his Beaumont Street home in Manhattan Beach yesterday morning. The online retailer became notorious after boasting to the New York Times about threatening and intimidating customers – not to mention selling them phony goods – with a theory that negative reviews would increase his Google ranking. The story even spurred the All Mighty Google into action, creating quick fixes to its algorithms to make merchants like Borker less successful.

But then a slew of lawmen got involved, and they sure aren’t taking it easy on Borker:

The merchant, Vitaly Borker, 34, who operates a Web site called, was charged with one count each of mail fraud, wire fraud, making interstate threats and cyberstalking. The mail fraud and wire fraud charges each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The stalking and interstate threats charges carry a maximum sentence of five years.

He was arrested early Monday by agents of the United States Postal Inspection Service. In an arraignment in the late afternoon in United States District Court in Lower Manhattan, Judge Michael H. Dolinger denied Mr. Borker’s request for bail, stating that the defendant was either “verging on psychotic” or had “an explosive personality.” Mr. Borker will be detained until a preliminary hearing, scheduled for Dec. 20.

… He has already been charged with aggravated harassment and stalking by local authorities and is scheduled to be arraigned on those charges on Dec. 22. The state attorney general’s office is conducting its own investigation and could bring additional state charges.

But federal law enforcement seemed eager to partake as well. In a statement released Monday, Preet Bharara, United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said, “Vitaly Borker, an alleged cyberbully and fraudster, cheated his customers, and when they complained, tried to intimidate them with obscenity and threats of serious violence.”

At the arraignment, an assistant United States attorney, E. Danya Perry, argued against bail by claiming that Mr. Borker was both a flight risk and a risk to the community. She said that postal inspectors had carted off boxes of apparently counterfeit eyeglasses after searching Mr. Borker’s home and had also found a handful of guns, including a semiautomatic machine gun.

… A far more subdued version of Mr. Borker appeared in court on Monday afternoon. Dressed in jeans and a button-down shirt, he said little. When he was led away by court officers, he turned to look at his wife, who was sitting in the courtroom. He appeared grief stricken and on the verge of tears.

“Sorry,” he whispered to her, as he was escorted through a side door.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why it pays not to be an asshole.

Remember Vitaly Borker, Sheepshead Bay’s biggest cyberbully? This digital thug went around pissing off his clients to spur them into writing negative comments on websites across the net. The result? More Google love.

Until now.

Following the New York Times expose of Borker, Google announced that it has refined the algorithm – the mathematical calculations its software uses to order search results – to ensure that “being bad to your customers is bad for business.”

We were horrified to read about Ms. Rodriguez’s dreadful experience. Even though our initial analysis pointed to this being an edge case and not a widespread problem in our search results, we immediately convened a team that looked carefully at the issue. That team developed an initial algorithmic solution, implemented it, and the solution is already live. I am here to tell you that being bad is, and hopefully will always be, bad for business in Google’s search results.

They added that the new algorithm “detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience.”

So the whole world owes Borker a great big thank you for helping to improve one of the most used informational tools in human history. Another Sheepshead Bay hero, I say…

Photo: SheepGuardingLlama via Flickr

Sheepshead Bay is home to cyber-bully number one, Vitaly Borker, a cut-throat online retailer exposed in a New York Times article over the weekend.

Borker, through his online eyeglass store DecorMyEyes, specializes in belittling customers and terrorizing them with not-so-thinly veiled threats of violence as part of his sales strategy.

And business is booming.

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