DecorMyEyes Merchant Vitaly Borker Sentenced To Four Years In Federal Prison

The New York Times reports Vitaly Borker, the merchant who boasted of being abusive to customers and claimed, inaccurately, that such behavior had a side benefit of producing good rankings in Google, has been sentenced. The sentencing was to four years in federal prison and ordered to pay approximately $100,000 in restitution and fines.

Vitaly Borker who was arrested shortly after boasting in a New York Times article about how abusing customers improves Google rankings, pleaded guilty about 16 months ago. Yesterday, he was finally sentenced and had the opportunity to apologize to his victims and his own family.

“As I stand here before you today, I am genuinely and deeply sorry for the threats that I made,” he said. “To say that I am ashamed of myself is an understatement.” “I had a big mouth and I couldn’t control it,” he continued. As he spoke, he cried and spoke about how his father passed away after his arrest, feeling ashamed how he let his father and family down.

Judge Sullivan was not moved by Borker’s remorse and said “The fact is, these were vile threats,” adding, “you were terrorizing people.” United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, “Vitaly Borker was an Internet shopper’s worst nightmare,” “Borker operated behind the veil of the Internet and aliases to first defraud his victims and then, if they complained, terrorize them with threats, intimidation and harassment.”

Image credit to New York Times

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • http://www.facebook.com/tienvnguyen Tien V Nguyen

    I think what he did was obviously deplorable, but 4 years seems a bit excessive.

  • Sheldon Campbell

    @facebook-2500302:disqus I might agree with you if he had done it once… perhaps even twice. But he did it MANY times, causing a lot of people fear, mental anguish and monetary losses. Given the scope of what he did, I’d say he got off easy.

  • http://blog.clayburngriffin.com/ Clayburn Griffin

    Seems harsh.

  • doomedby2020

    Personally, i don’t understand how it is legal for a website to list a business without consent, then benefit from the reviews that get posted. My construction business got a single review, a bad review from a wacky client and now i am loosing work because of it. Yelp won’t delete my account…in fact, after protesting they locked my account…my home address is listed for all to see and i cannot change it. This seems terribly unlawful.

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