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FCC Levies $45,000 in Pirate Fines

Both penalties are for illegal stations in Florida

The commission has fined two pirates a total of $45,000 for operating radio stations without a license.

The Enforcement Bureau levied the largest penalty, for $25,000, against Damian Anthony Ojouku Allen for operating a station without a license in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Enforcement Bureau warned him several times that pirate operations are illegal and previously imposed a fine against Allen for operating a pirate station in Pompano Beach, Fla.

In March, the Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for $25,000 to Allen for operating an unlicensed transmitter on 101 MHz in Fort Lauderdale. Allen has not responded, so the NAL now becomes a Forfeiture Order, with payment due in 30 days.

Failure to pay could mean his case is turned over to the Justice Department for collection.

“The fact that Mr. Allen would commit the same violation on the same frequency demonstrates a complete disregard for the commission’s authority and its rules,” warranting a big penalty, writes Dennis Carlton, regional director of the south central region of the Enforcement Bureau in his decision.

The Enforcement Bureau also proposed a $20,000 fine against Marc-Nus Charles for operating an unlicensed station on 92.5 MHz in Pompano Beach, Fla. Charles has a history of such action, according to the decision from Resident Agent Stephanie Dabkowski of the Miami office.

FCC agents warned Charles about unlicensed station operation in 2009 and later seized the equipment and shut it down. In 2013, agents from the Enforcement Bureau again traced illegal radio signals to Charles’s home, however he told agents he didn’t actually live there, that “Henry Michael” did and actually operated the illegal station on 92.5 MHz in Pompano Beach.

The FCC determined that “Henry Michael” really was Charles. The commission doubled the proposed fine to $20,000, saying Charles repeatedly violated the law. He has 30 days to appeal or pay.