Gregory A. White, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, today announced that Donald Sockloskie, age 51, of 6419 Button Road, Concord, Ohio, was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons by U.S. District Court Judge Peter C. Economus, in connection with Sockloskie’s recent conviction on charges of manufacturing, selling and distributing equipment used in connection with the unauthorized decryption of satellite television signals.
Sockloskie was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release following his release from prison, and was ordered to pay restitution to Direct TV in the amount of $9,000,000.
On February 4, 2003, a one-count Information was filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio, charging Sockloskie with manufacturing, selling and distributing equipment used in connection with the unauthorized decryption of satellite television signals, in violation of Title 47, United States Code, Section 605(e)(4). Sockloskie was arraigned and entered a guilty plea to the charge on March 6, 2003.
The information charged that between on or about January 1, 1999, and on or about September 28, 1999, in the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, Sockloskie manufactured, assembled, modified, sold, and distributed approximately 4,500 electrical devices (i.e. 3000 illegally modified DSS Satellite Access Cards and 1500 DSS card reprogramming devices) knowing and having reason to know that such devices were primarily to be used for the illegal decryption of satellite signals from Direct TV satellites, and to receive unauthorized pay-per-view programming as well as other premium channels such as HBO, Showtime and Cinemax, without paying the usual subscriber fees and costs normally associated with such premium satellite broadcasts.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Kern, the Computer Crimes Coordinator at the Cleveland U.S. Attorney’s Office, following an investigation by the Youngstown Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.