U.S. Department of Justice - CyberCrime.gov Archived

Digital Millennium Copyright Act Cases (DMCA) - U.S. v. Sockloskie (N.D. Ohio) (Satellite TV Cards)

February 4, 2003


U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Northern District of Ohio
Emily M. Sweeney
Contact: Robert W. Kern
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Phone: (216) 622-3836

Concord, Ohio Man Charged with Manufacturing, Selling, and Distributing Satellite Television Access Devices

Emily M. Sweeney, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, today announced that a one-count Information was filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio, charging Donald Sockloskie, age 51, of 6419 Button Road, Concord, Ohio 44060, 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). The information charges 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. The statutory maximum penalty for a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 605(e)(4) is five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. This case is being 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. An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  


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