On Friday, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia announced the sentencing of Justin DeMatteo, 31, of Saxe, Va., to one year and one day in prison for selling counterfeit General Motors (NYSE: GM ) automotive diagnostic devices on eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY ) . He also has been ordered to pay restitution of $328,500 to cover GM's losses.
The devices in question, counterfeit "Tech 2" vehicle diagnostic systems manufactured in China, are handheld computers used by mechanics to diagnose problems with vehicles manufactured by GM for possible service. According to authorities, DeMatteo was convicted on Sept. 26, 2012, after pleading guilty to one count of trafficking in goods bearing counterfeit marks.
According to authorities, DeMatteo admitted to offering for sale counterfeits of a more advanced diagnostic device known as the "CANdi" module, which complements and enhances the usefulness of the Tech 2. Nearly 100 counterfeits of such items were either sold by DeMatteo or seized from his home and place of business in South Boston, Va., authorities report.The retail price of 100 authentic products would have been more than $380,000, they said.
After serving his prison term, DeMatteo will be under supervised release for three years. In addition, he was ordered to reimburse GM for $328,500 in lost revenue. DeMatteo's arrest and prosecution were part of a larger "Operation Engine Newity," described by the AG as being "an international initiative targeting the production and distribution of counterfeit automotive products that impact the safety of the consumer."