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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File No. EB-02-PA-105
Amethyst's International Inc. ) NAL/Acct. No.
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey 08742 )
) FRN #. 0006-8162-01
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: June 5, 2002
By the District Director, Philadelphia Office, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL''), we find that Amethyst's International Inc.
(``Amethyst'') has apparently violated Section 301 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended,1 (``the Act'') by
operating an unlicensed Marine Coast station on VHF Marine
Channel 16 (156.8 MHz) at the Beach Motel, 202 Arnold Avenue,
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. We conclude that Amethyst's is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand
2. On or about February 25, 2002, at approximately 6:45
p.m., agent Trenton Williams of the Enforcement Bureau's
Philadelphia Office received a telephone call at his residence
from the United States Coast Guard, Atlantic City New Jersey
Group, advising that a constant signal was being transmitted on
VHF Marine Channel 16 (156.8 MHz). The signal, which had been on
the air since about 4:45 p.m., was causing harmful interference,
affecting the ability of Coast Guard Stations Manasquan and
Barnegat Light, New Jersey to monitor channel 16 for
transmissions from vessels in distress.
3. Agents Trenton Williams and Frank Cranmer of the
Philadelphia Office were assigned to investigate the
interference. At about 8:45 p.m., using direction finding
techniques, agent Williams determined that the signal on 156.8
MHz was emanating from the Beach Motel, 202 Arnold Avenue, Point
Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. Inside, the FCC agents located a
Realistic MTX-100 marine radio in the motel lobby and noted that
it was transmitting on Marine Channel 16 (156.8 MHz). At about
9:00 p.m., John Fernicola, representing Amethyst, arrived on
scene. Mr. Fernicola disconnected and removed the radio. Mr.
Fernicola acknowledged that neither he nor Amethyst had a license
to operate a coast station in the Marine Coast radio service.
4. On February 26, 2002, the Philadelphia Office sent
Amethyst a letter warning that operation of the unlicensed Coast
Station on the frequency 156.8 MHz at the Beach Motel violated
Section 301 of the Act. The letter outlined the potential
penalties for operating the unlicensed station, which included
seizure of the equipment, fines and imprisonment. The
Philadelphia Office requested that Amethyst submit a written
response within 10 days of receipt of the letter.
5. By letter dated March 4, 2002, John Fernicola, the
President of Amethyst's International Inc., submitted a response
to the Philadelphia Office acknowledging the unlicensed operation
and apologizing for the inconvenience associated with the event.
6. Section 301 of the Act prohibits radio operation
``except under and in accordance with this Act and with a license
in that behalf granted under the provisions of this Act.'' The
FCC rules require that any land station operating in the Marine
Coast radio service be licensed. As explained above, Amethyst,
which was operating on channel 16 (156.8 MHz) on February 25,
2002 at 8:45 p.m., did not have a license for the Marine Coast
station at the Beach Motel, 202 Arnold Avenue, Point Pleasant
Beach, New Jersey.
7. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Amethyst
has willfully2 violated Section 301 of the Act, as amended. The
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section
1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, 12
FCC Rcd 17087, 17113 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303(1999)
(``Forfeiture Policy Statement'')3, sets the base forfeiture
amount at ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for the operation of an
unlicensed station. In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount,
we must take into account the statutory factors set forth in
Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act,4 which include the nature,
circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation, and with
respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history
of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters as
justice may require. Applying the Policy Statement and the
statutory factors to the instant case and applying the inflation
adjustments, we believe that a ten thousand dollar ($10,000)
monetary forfeiture is warranted.
IV. Ordering Clauses
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules,5 Amethyst's International Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of its
APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand
dollars ($10,000) for willfully violating Section 301 of the Act.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of this NOTICE
OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Amethyst's International Inc. SHALL PAY
the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a
written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
10. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by mailing a
check or similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Forfeiture Collection Section,
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The payment should note the
NAL/Acct. No. 200232400002 and FRN # 0006-8162-01.
11. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and
Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
20554 and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct. No. 200232400002.
12. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling
a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability to pay unless
the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax returns for the most
recent three-year period; (2) financial statements prepared
according to generally accepted accounting practices (``GAAP'');
or (3) some other reliable and objective documentation that
accurately reflects the petitioner's current financial status.
Any claim of inability to pay must specifically identify the
basis for the claim by reference to the financial documentation
13. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th
Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.6
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail, Return
Receipt Requested, to Amethyst's International Inc. 202 Arnold
Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey 08742.
John E. Rahtes
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term
`willful', when used with reference to the commission or omission
of any act, means the conscious and deliberate commission or
omission of such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any
provision of this Act ....'' See Southern California
Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
3 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
5 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80.
6 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.