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Another Florida Pirate Fine Slashed

Whisler Fleurinor can’t pay $20,000, so he’ll have to pay $500

Whisler Fleurinor must write a good appeal letter. He just convinced the FCC to reduce his fine in a pirate case from $20,000 to $500.

It’s the second case within a few days in which the FCC agreed to dramatic reductions of fines against operators of illegal stations in Florida.

Dennis P. Carlton, regional director of the South Central region of the Enforcement Bureau, said Whisler Fleurinor must pay $500 for operating an unlicensed transmitter on 99.5 MHz from his commercial property in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

As RW reported earlier, the FCC this spring proposed to fine Fleurinor $20,000, twice the usual amount, because of repeat offenses and because he allegedly had turned his transmitter back on, even after being visited by FCC agents and receiving a notice. The FCC wrote at the time that Fleurinor also had been issued a notice in 2008 in yet another instance of unlicensed operation. “The fact that Mr. Fleurinor continued to operate with full knowledge that such activity violated the … rules demonstrates a deliberate disregard for the commission’s requirements,” it wrote then.

But Fleurinor appealed, saying the $20,000 fine “would create an impossible burden … to bear or satisfy.”The commission now has accepted his evidence of inability to pay, and reduced the fine from $20,000 to $500. The reduction, it made clear, was based “solely on his documented inability to pay.”

In a separate case, the FCC recently reduced a $10,000 fine against another Florida man to $250.