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Former Riverdale business owner sentenced

A Saxe resident and former owner of “The Shop” in Riverdale was sentenced Friday in federal court to one year and one day in prison for one count of trafficking in goods bearing counterfeit marks.

Senior U. S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton in the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced Justin DeMatteo, 31, of Saxe, to one year and one day in prison for selling counterfeit General Motors (GM) automotive diagnostic devices used by mechanics to identify problems with and assure the safety of motor vehicles, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

In addition to his prison term, DeMatteo was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $328,500 restitution, the full amount of GM’s losses.

At DeMatteo’s trial in September, the court entered a consent order of forfeiture requiring him to forfeit $109,074 in criminal proceeds and all facilitating property and contraband seized during the execution of search warrants at DeMatteo’s business and Saxe residence on Dec. 15, 2011.

Among other things, agents seized numerous counterfeit GM Tech 2 units and CANdi modules, and various computer equipment and documents that contained evidence linking the defendant to the sale of the counterfeit Tech 2 units.

According to DeMatteo’s plea agreement containing stipulated statements of fact, the number of Tech 2 and CANdi unites sold by DeMatteo or seized during the Dec. 15, 2011 raid totaled nearly 100.

The retail price of 100 authentic products would have been more than $380,000, according to court documents.

In other court documents, DaMatteo admitted selling counterfeit GM Corporation-branded “Tech 2” vehicle diagnostic systems between January and May 2011.

The Tech 2 is a hand-held computer used to diagnose problems in vehicles that use electronic controls and interfaces.

DeMatteo also admitted he offered for sale purported Tech 2 units and CANdi modules that bore counterfeit GM marks.

The Controller Area Network diagnostic interface (CANdi) module is an enhancement to the Tech 2 and completes the interface necessary to communicate with future on-board computer systems.

DeMatteo sold the counterfeit Tech 2 units on eBay and accepted payment via PayPal.

DeMatteo purchased the units from unauthorized manufacturers in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and in many cases had them drop-shipped directly from the PRC to U.S. customers.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsay Kelly of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Evan Williams of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

The FBI’s Intellectual Property Rights Unit and the FBI Richmond Division also investigated the case.