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Fine Doubled for Florida Pirate

Whisler Fleurinor repeatedly transmitted illegally in Fort Lauderdale, says FCC

The FCC has doubled its fine against Whisler Fleurinor of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for operating a station without a license, to $20,000.

That’s $10,000 more than usual, because Fleurinor has been repeatedly violating the law, according to the commission.

The case began in 2010, when Miami field agents responded to complaints about an unlicensed station on 99.5 MHz. The agents used direction-finding equipment to trace the source of the transmission to a commercial property Fleurinor owned.

During an inspection in August 2010, Fleurinor admitted the equipment was his and then turned off the transmitter, the commission said in its summary. Before they left, agents issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation to Fleurinor, which he signed. But he turned the transmitter back on, and later that month, agents again traced the unlicensed signal to his property, the FCC said.

The commission noted that this was the second Notice of Unlicensed Operation issued to Fleurinor; it issued a notice to him in 2008 for operating an unlicensed station from his commercial property on a different frequency, 97.7 MHz.

“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,” wrote the Miami field office in its latest decision. The FCC found Fleurinor’s actions willfull and repeated, so it doubled the penalty. Fleurinor can still apply to have the fine reduced or eliminated.