(CN) – A high-end eyewear retailer who bragged to The New York Times that unhappy customers boosted his business pleaded guilty Thursday to threatening customers with violence and rape.
The Brooklyn-based Vitaly Borker sold designer eyeglasses and accessories through DecorMyEyes.com, which became infamous as a lightning rod for consumer complaints.
Borker was quoted in a New York Times story as saying he was “in heaven” when he realized how high his Google ranking was. He claimed that negative customer reviews brought him more business.
“My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement,” he said in that article.
Prosecutors say Borker bought cheap or counterfeited goods from eBay and other retailers, and threatened some unhappy customers who were disappointed with their orders.
“Listen, bitch,” he told the persistent customer. “I know your address. I’m one bridge over.”
Borker threatened to anally rape that customer and sent her an image pulled from Google Earth of her apartment building along with an e-mail that said he was watching her.
He also threatened to anally rape another customer who called him about her order, and he called that woman a “stupid bitch” and a “cheap Jew.”
In the wake of the Times article, Google announced that it was changing the way it ranks search results to avoid rewarding merchants like Borker.
Borker, who also uses the aliases Tony Russo and Stanley Bolds, pleaded guilty to two counts of making threatening communications, one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud from the criminal information.
He faces a total of 50 years in prison when sentenced on September 16. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Danya Perry and Daniel W. Levy are in charge of prosecution.