Avast! There be an alleged pirate at this beach!
And it’s turned out to be an expensive venture for one Charles Philome of Pompano Beach, Fla. The Federal Communications Commission handed Philome a $20,000 fine (or, metaphorically, 160,000 pieces of eight) for allegedly operating an unauthorized station on 88.7 MHz and 90.1 MHz from several locations in Pompano Beach and Margate, Fla.
In response to a complaint in November 2015, the commission’s Enforcement Bureau used mobile direction-finding techniques several times to locate radio signals at businesses that were linked to Philome.
Even when confronted by FCC field agents, Philome’s actions continued, the commission said in its account of the case.
Once, when Philome answered the phone to field agents, he acknowledged receipt of an earlier Notice of Unauthorized Operation from the FCC and acknowledged that the station in question had been in operation for about two months at a power of about 50 watts, but said he wanted to continue operating the station for at least several more days, the FCC stated.
Such operation is illegal, the agent advised him, and Philome admitted that he had been involved with other unlicensed radio stations in the past, it said. The agent advised Philome to cease operation of any such stations; one had been named “Belle Radio FM 88.7,” another “Super Star FM” and a third “Belle Radio FM 90.1,” according to bureau research records.
The warnings seem to have been to no avail, as the FCC identified the source of a signal on 90.1 MHz at a third location affiliated with Philome. Subsequently, in November 2016, the Enforcement Bureau issued an initial Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) of $20,000. Philome has not filed a response, the commission said.