Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Operator Of Online Retailer For Running Fraudulent Eyewear Website
Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector in Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”), announced the arrest of VITALY BORKER, the operator of “OpticsFast.com,” an online retailer of purported designer eyewear. BORKER was arrested pursuant to a complaint charging him with mail and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud unsuspecting customers by misrepresenting the authenticity and condition of eyeglasses sold through the website, and to harass customers who complained or attempted to return their purchases. BORKER was arrested this morning and will be presented later today before the Honorable Ronald L. Ellis.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “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. Borker’s shameless brand of alleged abuse cannot be tolerated, and we are committed to protecting consumers from becoming victims of such criminal behavior. We thank our partners at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their shared commitment to this mission.”
USPIS Inspector in Charge Philip R. Bartlett said: “As the adage goes, what goes around comes around - Mr. Borker took this to the extreme when he allegedly devised his fraud scheme to cheat consumers attempting to purchase eyewear. His cool shades couldn’t shield him from the bright light of law enforcement who illuminated his alleged illicit scheme. He should have realized he could never outwit Postal Inspectors.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court:
BORKER operates the eyewear website “OpticsFast.com” that purported to sell “brand new and 100% authentic” luxury eyewear, and that advertised itself as “the planet’s biggest online website for designer discount sunglasses and eyeglasses.” But customers of OpticsFast.com frequently received damaged and counterfeit items, were refused refunds, charged unauthorized restocking fees, or never sent eyewear for which they had been charged. When those customers tried to return merchandise, BORKER, using an alias, subjected them to a campaign of abusive emails and text messages. BORKER also insulted customers, called them names, and threatened to refer disputed sales to debt collectors.
BORKER, 41, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with mail fraud and wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Acting U.S. Attorney Kim praised the efforts of the USPIS in this case. He added that the investigation is ongoing.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.