NEW YORK (AP) — An eyewear website operator who already served several years in prison after making violent threats to unhappy consumers across the U.S. pleaded guilty to new charges on Tuesday, admitting that he committed more online fraud after he was freed.
Vitaly Borker, 41, entered the guilty plea to fraud and conspiracy charges in Manhattan federal court before Judge Paul G. Gardephe.
A sentencing date was set for May, but Gardephe said it was more likely that the date would be used for a hearing to resolve disputes over the extent of Borker's latest fraud through a company called OpticsFast.
The plea came only a month after another judge ordered him to serve two years in prison for violating the terms of his probation.
The Ukrainian immigrant living in Brooklyn already had served a four-year sentence for harassing customers from 2007 to 2010. A judge had concluded that victims were "highly credible" when they said Borker had threatened them with rape and murder.
In the new case, prosecutors did not allege that Borker made violent threats but they said he continued peddling shoddy glasses as premium ware. They said emails called one customer a "stupid stupid lady" and a "total degenerate." They also alleged that Borker posed as "Becky S" in emails to disgruntled customers, telling one: "I have been doing this for a decade. I will teach you a thing or 2 indeed."
The government said in court papers that Borker's company sometimes threatened customers with legal action. It said one victim in New Mexico was harassed by OpticsFast with 70 text messages a day from 70 different numbers, forcing him to change his telephone number.
Prosecutors are asking that he serve up to five years in prison. Borker's lawyer, Dominic Amorosa, said he plans to contest many of the government's claims.