NEW YORK (AP) – A New York judge has delayed the sentencing of an eyewear website operator who threatened customers, saying he wants to hear from several victims nationwide who allege they were threatened with murder and rape.
Federal Judge Richard Sullivan said he’ll conduct a hearing after a lawyer for Vitaly Borker (Vih-TOWEL-lee BORE-ker) insisted Thursday that his client never made murder or rape threats. Borker was to be sentenced Thursday. Borker has pleaded guilty to making threats and fraud charges. Prosecutors say he bullied his customers into accepting counterfeit and inferior products. They say he encouraged them to complain online to boost his Internet ranking and drive more customers his way.
Borker’s defense lawyer says his client’s behavior was triggered by a mental defect aggravated by drug and alcohol abuse and exhaustion.
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