Operator Admits Pirate Actions, Enters $2,500 Consent Decree

Reduced obligation; also agrees to avoid similar activity for next 20 years
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Reduced obligation; also agrees to avoid similar activity for next 20 years

After repeated visits from enforcement agents and a proposed forfeiture of $15,000 in 2016, an unlicensed radio operator has entered into a Consent Decree with the Federal Communications Commission for unlicensed operation.

Kedner Maxime agreed to resolve an ongoing investigation by the FCC into Maxime’s operation of an unauthorized radio station on 102.1 and 89.1 MHz from two different locations in Broward County, Fla.

To settle the matter, Maxime admitted several things to the commission: One, that he had operated an unauthorized radio station; two, that he will not operate one in the future; and three, that the will pay a $2,500 civil penalty for his previous efforts.

Backtracking on that promise will be an expensive proposition. Maxime agreed to pay an additional civil penalty of $12,500 to the commission if he’s found to have operated an authorized radio station any time during the next 20 years. He also will have to pay that additional penalty if the commission discovers that Maxime misled the commission in regard to his current financial status.

Maxime came to the attention of the agency when the Federal Aviation Administration complained to the Miami enforcement bureau in July 2015 about an unidentified FM broadcast station on 102.1 MHz that was allegedly transmitting a false signal on a frequency assigned to U.S. military aeronautical operations.

That same month, enforcement bureau agents used mobile direction-finding techniques to track the source of the radio frequency transmissions to an FM transmitting antenna at a church building in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. At that location, agents also observed a signal on the U.S. military aeronautical frequency originating from the same antenna. The source of the transmissions led to a church were Kedner Maxime was church pastor.

At the time Maxime admitted that he had been operating the station at the church, and voluntarily relinquished possession of the transmitter to bureau agents.

Several months later, the Miami office received another complaint of interference from an unlicensed FM broadcast station operating on the frequency 89.1 MHz in Broward County, Fla. Upon investigation, an FM transmitting antenna on a two-story commercial building in Oakland Park was found to be transmitting the signals. That business had the same address as Maxime’s business office.