Federal Judge Revokes Bail Of Bullying Eyeglass Vendor

Threatening to stalk, rape, mutilate, and kill your customers over a $150 chargeback is not a sustainable business model. We could have told you that, but it took a New York Times investigation, a Google algorithm change, and federal prosecution to stop the Brooklyn entrepreneur who built his eyewear business on the idea that online, there is no such thing as bad publicity. He allegedly sent out counterfeit designer eyewear, or no merchandise at all, then harassed and threatened customers who wanted their money back. When customers complained online, it boosted the profile of his brand. Now a federal judge has revoked the man’s bail ahead of sentencing after listening to testimony from some of those customers.

We won’t name the company here since the site is, remarkably, still operating. The business owner’s lawyer argued there’s no proof that he ever intended to actually harm any of the customers he harassed and threatened with bodily harm. But most people aren’t used to receiving voice mails that say things like “I hope you die. I want to slice your legs off,” as one customer recounted in federal court.

Last year, the entrepreneur pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and making interstate threats. The judge in this case told the press that he may impose a harsher sentence than the three years indicated in federal sentencing guidelines.

NY judge revokes bail after hearing murder threats [AP]
Bully jailed for ’Net threats [NY Post]

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Harassing Customers As A Business Model

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  1. Blueskylaw says:

    “We won’t name the company here, since the site is, remarkably, still operating”

    DecorMyEyes.com.

  2. StarKillerX says:

    ‘We won’t name the company here, since the site is, remarkably, still operating.”

    Why?

    I mean it sounds like the entire business plan was basically screwing over their customers but you constantly name many other companies for far less.

  3. Lethe says:

    It doesn’t matter if you name them any more. When Google realized what was going on, they changed their algorithms so that his plan wouldn’t work any more.

    http://googleblog.blogspot.ca/2010/12/being-bad-to-your-customers-is-bad-for.html

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Sweet.

    • scoosdad says:

      I’m not sure what they did was exactly an algorithm in the usual sense. From the Google blog:

      “Instead, in the last few days we developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience. The algorithm we incorporated into our search rankings represents an initial solution to this issue, and Google users are now getting a better experience as a result.”

      To me that sounds as if they’ve created some kind of blacklist containing this guy’s site (‘detects the merchant from the Times article‘) and other merchants that they know are out to screw the customer. They call it an ‘initial solution’ so to me that sounds like they did some kind of temporary fudge to automatically down-rank anyone on this blacklist, since their usual way of dealing with this would have had some unintended negative effects on other site’s rankings.

  4. SirWired says:

    Read the attached AP article; it’s even worse. He pled guilty, and then turned around and claimed he didn’t do anything; this delayed the sentencing hearing. The judge apparently has had enough, and that’s why he was detained right at the end of the hearing, which isn’t even over yet.

    Let this be a lesson to criminal scum: If you gum up the wheels of justice by pleading innocence after you plead guilty, and the court finds out you are indeed a lying sack of shit, your sentencing hearing will not end well.

    • yankinwaoz says:

      That is so true. I’ve read about many cases where someone has plea bargained, then steps out and publicly claims they aren’t guilty. Judges don’t like it when you do that.

      • SirWired says:

        It’s perfectly fine to publicly proclaim you aren’t guilty, and that you just pled to get your sentence down. The trick is to do this AFTER you’ve been sentenced, and if you receive a jail term, successfully get out on parole.

        This guy apparently forgot about the “wait until you’ve been sentenced” part.

    • regis-s says:

      I guess one could wonder why this is much different from any other company that agrees to pay a fine while not admitting to doing anything wrong.

      I remember reading about this guy before. He definitely seems like a jerk. It kind of makes you wish these faux gangstas would piss off the wrong person and find out what it’s like to deal with real gangsters.

  5. Guppy06 says:

    “The business owner’s lawyer argued there’s no proof that he ever intended to actually harm”

    Apparently they don’t teach simple assault in law school any more…

  6. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    “We won’t name the company here since the site is, remarkably, still operating”

    OK, um, thanks for the warning.

  7. BBG says:

    If you go to WIkipedia, you’ll see our boy Vitaly has also been charged separately with possession of child porn. Such a charmer.

    • deathbecomesme says:

      Yes…because wikipedia, like Facebook, has nothing but the verified truth and can’t just be edited by just anyone on the net

  8. PragmaticGuy says:

    Years ago the post office did C.O.D. for a fee. Now they don’t but wouldn’t it be great if they did?

  9. T. Bone says:

    Is the guys name Stan? DecorMyEyes.com. jacked me around about 5 years ago.

  10. Dukebruno says:

    More than 5 years ago a guy on eBay scammed me on a purchase trying to pass off a clearly used product as new. When I emailed him to complain the guy called me on the phone and taunted me and asked what I was going to do about it. “You gonna make a mad face at me?”

    Guy ended up shutting down his eBay store and started counterfeiting Cisco network equipment. He is, as of now, sitting in Federal prison after pleading guilty.

    Karma’s a bitch, Chris and I am making a mad face at you, loser.