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Previously jailed online optical retailer charged again

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


An online eyewear retailer who served three-and-a-half years in prison for threatening to stalk, maim and murder customers of his online glasses store has again been arrested by US authorities, this time for defrauding and harassing customers.

OpticsFast.com operator Vitaly Borker, allegedly misrepresented the authenticity and condition of eyewear sold through his new website, and then carried out a campaign of merciless harassment against consumers who were unhappy with the service. 

“As alleged, Vitaly Borker ran his eyewear business, OpticsFast.com, as an online platform for fraud, selling defective and counterfeit merchandise. And as alleged, when his customers rightfully complained or tried to get their money back, Borker harassed and abused them,” Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim stated on his office’s website.

The 41 year-old Borker, who hails from Brooklyn, New York, has been charged with wire and mail fraud, each of which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.

According to a New York Times report, one customer claimed that a member of OpticsFast called her 35 times a day after she complained online about a fake and damaged pair of Ray-Bans that she had purchased from the site. She was also called a “total degenerate” and “stupid, stupid lady” in emails from the company.

Evidence against Borker was secured with assistance from the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), with inspector in charge, Mr Phillip Bartlett, accusing him of cheating consumers. 

“His cool shades couldn’t shield him from the bright light of law enforcement who illuminated his alleged illicit scheme. He should have realised he could never outwit Postal Inspectors,” Bartlett said.

However, while offensive, Borker’s alleged harassment and false advertising would appear to be a toned-down version of the 198cm tall, Ukrainian immigrant’s previous sales tactics, which in 2010 saw him threaten to chop off the legs of one customer, and threaten to rape another.

Borker did so under the pretence that at the time Google’s search algorithm could not distinguish between positive and negative feedback. Thus, the more people complained about his business online, the more prominently it would appear in search results. Google has since corrected the flaw.

Borker’s lawyer indicated he will plead not guilty to the charges and said his role in the business had been overstated.

IMAGE: Vitaly Borker, OpticsFast.com operator