FBI arrested DecorMyEyes founder Tony Russo
Law enforcement agencies in the U.S. on Monday, December 6, arrested Internet fraudster Vitaly Borker who sold counterfeit supposed designer eyewear from his Brooklyn home.
Also known as Tony Russo, he bullied his way to the top of internet search engines, was busted by the feds today for allegedly cyber-stalking customers after selling them counterfeit goods from his Brooklyn home
Vitaly Borker, owner of the Web site DecorMyEyes, was arrested after a three-year run of peddling supposed designer eyewear and using an unorthodox system of cultivating customer complaints to raise his firm’s profile on Google searches.
But the strategy finally backfired after a published report last month highlighted one woman’s ordeal at the hands of Borker, who allegedly repeatedly threatened her — even e-mailing her a photo of her home — because she wanted a refund.
“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,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Prosecutors and postal inspectors who searched Borker’s home today found several firearms and ammunition. Borker’s lawyer claimed the guns are film props, but federal prosecutors said some are capable of firing live ammuniton.
Assistant U.S. Prosecutor Danya Perry said investigators found hundreds of counterfeit pocket books at Borker’s home as well as images “of pre-pubescent chidlren” that she said are consistent with child erotica.
Borker, who also went by the names Tony Russo and Stanley Bolds, repeatedly threatened customers in obscenity-laden tirades and insinuated that they would face bodily harm if they continued to demand refunds or file complaints about merchandise.
A Long Island woman who tried to cancel a $200 order because she wasn’t satisfied with eyeglasses Borker sent her was peppered with phone calls from the merchant, who described her as “f—ing whore” when her husband answered.
Borker, who identified himself as Tony Russo, then went on to warn the couple that he would “come after” them and “get” them, according to the federal complaint.
A Manhattan woman who called Borker to complain that her $350 order for sunglasses hadn’t arrived several weeks later, was called “a f—ing Jew.” When she did get her order, the glasses were counterfeit.
Told by the customer that she was filing a complaint with Consumer Affairs, Borker in an e-mail warned: “PS: don’t forget, I know where you live as well.” He then followed up with phone calls threatening to “kick her ass,” and sexually assault her, according to the complaint.
In court yeserday, Perry said Borker even threatened a woman who was eight months pregnant “with with physical and sexual violence against herself and her unborn child.”
One of Borker’s victims celebrated his arrest.
“I’m extremely relieved, but I’m still scared — the man’s a time bomb,” said Claribell Rodriquez, who was repeatedly threatened by Borker. “I won’t be completely relieved until I know he’s behind bars and justice is done.”
“I want him to get what he deserves, to have to deal with the hell he put me and hundreds of others through. He deserves to be in jail.”
In addition to sending his customers counterfeit or damaged goods, Borker is also accused by the feds of slapping unauthorized charges on customer credit cards.
Complaints about Borker’s heavy-handed tactics burned up internet consumer complaint boards — online references that in turn helped push his Web site to the top of the list of searches for designer eyewear.
Feds said Borker had racked up at least 200 complaints with the Federal Trade Commission.
Because of Borker, Google revised the algorithm it uses to rank Web sites so that consumer complaints posted online would no longer benefit such merchants.
Borker appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Dolinger today and was charged with cyberstalking, making interstate threats, mail fraud and wire fraud.
Citing a recent arrest on misdemeanor charges before a state court that failed to stop Borker’s threatening behavior, Dolinger ordered him held without bail. “It raises a serious question about whether he can control himself.”
- U.S. Arrests Online Seller Who Scared Customers (nytimes.com)