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FCC Denies $15,000 Pirate Fine Appeal

Olenicks had claimed agency rules didn’t apply in Texas

Still the same — just because you’re in Texas doesn’t mean the FCC rules don’t apply to you.

That’s the gist of an on-going pirate case. The commission has now upheld a $15,000 fine for Walter Olenick and M. Rae Nadler-Olenick for operating a pirate station in Austin, Texas.

After the Enforcement Bureau proposed the penalty in June, the Olenicks appealed.

Today, the Enforcement Bureau said in its decision their appeal raised no new arguments and relied on assertions that had been rejected before.

The Olenicks operated an unlicensed station on 90.1 MHz, according to the bureau. In 2013, agents traced the unauthorized signal to their apartment building, and found an antenna mounted on an approximately 50-foot tower attached to the building. A coaxial cable ran from the antenna to a utility or maintenance room, according to the agency.

The Olenicks didn’t deny they operated the pirate station, and admitted they owned the tower. However, they asserted “they are not subject to the jurisdiction” of the agency, according to the commission account.

The Enforcement Bureau has now disagreed with that claim twice and Deputy Bureau Chief William Davenport says in his decision the Olenicks must pay within 30 days or risk the case being turned over to the Justice Department for collection.