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Passaic Pirate Denied Second Chance in $15k Forfeiture Order

Untimely filing was cited as the primary reason for dismissal

The FCC has denied a petition for reconsideration filed by an alleged N.J. pirate radio operator. The reason? Blame it on the mail.

According to a memorandum opinion and order by FCC Enforcement Bureau Deputy Chief Phillip Rosario released June 8, a petition filed by Ivan Angeles and his attorney was dismissed as untimely.

It’s a relatable and cautionary tale. His petition for reconsideration was due to the commission no later than June 27, 2016. A letter from his lawyer sent to the FCC was dated 10 days prior — June 17. The catch? It was not filed until the next month; it was stamped “Received & Inspected JUL 13 2016” and therefore did not fall within the 30-day filing period.

[Read: FCC Continues Search for Pirate Operations]

Angeles’ attorney argues that the filing was late because his client never received the Sept. 25, 2015, Notice of Apparent Liability issued by the Enforcement Bureau’s New York Field Office. However, the bureau says it followed protocol and “sent a copy of the NAL to Angeles’s last known address by first-class mail and certified mail, return receipt requested” — which fulfilled the requirements.

However, Angeles did not respond to the NAL, and about eight months later, on May 26, 2016, the the bureau adopted the forfeiture order, which said that Angeles was liable for the amount in the NAL — “$15,000 for willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934.”

Additionally, the dismissal notes that “Although we are dismissing the Petition as untimely, we would also deny the Petition if it had been timely filed.” 

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