Vitaly Borker, owner of luxury eyewear Web site, faces up to 50 years in prison after he pleaded guilty Thursday to threatening and defrauding his customers.

This story first appeared in the May 13, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

A Brooklyn resident also known as “Tony Russo” and “Stanley Bolds,” Borker was arrested in December for running a scheme to defraud his customers by selling counterfeit and inferior quality goods. He also made unauthorized charges on his customers’ credit cards and repeatedly harassed them when they complained.

“Vitaly Borker was a cyberbully who subjected his victims to abusive, profanity-laced tirades, and threats of physical violence,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “He used fraud and intimidation as a business model, selling customers inferior goods and then repeatedly harassing them when they complained.”

Borker, who pleaded guilty to two counts of sending threatening communications, one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud, may be ordered to pay fines on top of serving jail time. According to the court, he faces fines on all counts of at least $250,000, up to twice the gross pecuniary gain derived from the crime or twice the gross pecuniary loss to the victims.

The 34-year-old, who operated since at least January 2007, will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan on Sept. 16 at 10 a.m.


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