By BRIAN J. O’MALLEY For The Press
CAMDEN - DIRECTV sent a strong signal to would-be programming thieves when it filed seven lawsuits here last month against both alleged suppliers and receivers of unauthorized signal processors. Six southern New Jersey residents face penalties of $10,000 for each device upon conviction.
Federal agents uncovered transaction records during a December 2001 raid of Shanty Computer, an alleged distributor of signal-theft electronics, containing the names of James Davidson and Tomas L. Ramirez, both of Pleasantville, Roger V. Montalvo of Egg Harbor City, Vincent J. Albano of Absecon, James Dreager of Northfield, all in Atlantic County, and John R. Thomas of Seaville, Cape May County. Shanty Computer operated a Web site, Shanty.com, that sold signal-theft equipment over the Internet.
According to DIRECTV, each was notified by mail shortly thereafter that they were identified as owners of the signal-theft systems. The letter went on to say the company would drop their legal claims if they agreed to stop using the equipment, turn them into DIRECTV and pay approximately $3,500 for each unit in their possession.
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