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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File Number EB-03-TP-092
Alexandre Pierre Abelard ) NAL/Acct. No.200332700025
AKA Abelard Pierre )
7961 Gladiolus Dr., Apt. 304 ) FRN 0008948150
Fort Myers, Florida 33908
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: May 20,
By the Enforcement Bureau, Tampa Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture (``NAL''), we find Alexandre Pierre Abelard, aka
Abelard Pierre, apparently liable for forfeiture in the
amount of seventeen thousand dollars ($17,000) for willful
violation of Sections 301 and 303(n) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended (``Act'').1 Specifically, we find
Alexandre Pierre Abelard, aka Abelard Pierre apparently
liable for the operation of an FM broadcast station on the
frequency 103.3 MHz without Commission authorization and for
failure to allow inspection of the radio installation
located on Abelard's premises.
2. On March 3, 2003, the FCC Enforcement Bureau's
Tampa Field Office (``Tampa Office'') received a complaint
from the Federal Aviation Administration (``FAA'') alleging
that an unlicensed radio station operating on 103.3 MHz in
Fort Myers, Florida was causing interference to aircraft
communications in that area on the frequency 119.00 MHz.
3. On March 4, 2003, agents from the Tampa Office
investigated the FAA's complaint and, using direction-
finding techniques, determined that a radio broadcast
station on frequency 103.3 MHz was transmitting from a one-
story strip business building located at 2217 Fowler Street,
Fort Myers, Florida. An FM broadcast-type antenna was
mounted on a metal pipe attached to the side of the
building. The coaxial cable from the antenna entered suite
number 2217 of the building. Based on field strength
measurements taken by the agents of the station's signal, a
Commission authorization was required to operate the
station.2 Additionally, the agents observed a spurious
radio emission on the aviation frequency 119.00 MHz
emanating from the same location. This spurious emission was
at the same signal strength level as the main emission on
103.3 MHz. Immediately thereafter, the agents approached
the building and knocked on the door of Suite 2217. No one
responded to the door and no lights were on inside the
suite. Several minutes later, an adult male drove up and
parked directly in front of Suite 2217. The agents
approached this man and identified themselves as Commission
representatives by showing the man their official
credentials. The agents interviewed this man, identified by
his driver's license as Alexandre Pierre Abelard of 7961
Gladiolus Dr., Apt. 304 (Lakes Park Apartments), Fort Myers,
FL 33908. Mr. Abelard rents an apartment at that location
under the name of Abelard Pierre. Mr. Abelard stated that
he was the lessee of Suite 2217. The agents told Mr.
Abelard about the interference problem and station license
requirement. The agents requested of Mr. Abelard to inspect
the radio station inside the suite. Mr. Abelard stated
that he was not the operator of the station, that he was
sub-leasing a back room of the suite to another individual
and did not have the key for the back room, but that he
would turn the power off to the back area from his front
office. The agents explained the Commission's legal
authority to inspect radio installations and explained the
need to inspect the station inside Mr. Abelard's suite
because the station operated illegally and was causing
harmful interference to aviation communications. The agents
again requested to see the room containing the transmitter.
Mr. Abelard again declined the agents' request. Mr. Abelard
then entered the suite and, shortly thereafter, the radio
station ceased to transmit.
4. On March 5, 2003, the agents returned to 2217
Fowler Street, Ft. Myers, Florida, and again interviewed Mr.
Abelard. Mr. Abelard stated that the transmitter had been
picked up by its purported owner earlier that day. The
station's antenna was lying on the ground on the side of the
building. Mr. Abelard showed the agents into the back of
the office where the transmitter purportedly used to be.
The agents found that this back room had no lock, required
no key to enter, and was freely accessible from Mr.
Abelard's suite, in contradiction to Mr. Abelard's
statements the previous day. Mr. Abelard stated that he was
the original owner of the transmitter but that he had sold
it to, and received partial payment from, an individual he
knew only as ``Jean Louis.'' When requested by the agents,
Mr. Abelard could not show evidence of the transaction or
any evidence that ``Jean Louis'' actually existed.
5. Section 301 of the Act sets forth generally that
no person shall use or operate any apparatus for the
transmission of energy of communications or signals by radio
within the United States except under and in accordance with
the Act and with a license. On March 4, 2003, Alexandre
Pierre Abelard aka Abelard Pierre operated radio
transmitting equipment on the frequency 103.3 MHz without
the required Commission authorization. Section 303(n) of
the Act sets forth that the Commission has the authority to
inspect all radio installations associated with stations
required to be licensed. On March 4, 2003, Alexandre Pierre
Abelard aka Abelard Pierre failed to allow agents of the
Commission to inspect the radio station located on his
premises after repeated requests to do so.
6. Based on the evidence before us, we find that on
March 4, 2003, Alexandre Pierre Abelard aka Abelard Pierre
willfully3 violated Sections 301 and 303(n) of the Act by
operating radio transmission apparatus without a license and
by failing to allow an inspection of his radio installation
upon request by authorized Commission representatives.
7. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b) (4) of the Rules,4 the
base forfeiture amount for operating a radio station without
a Commission authorization is $10,000, and for failure to
permit inspection is $7,000. In assessing the monetary
forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the
statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the
Act, 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.5 Considering the entire record and applying the
factors listed above, this case warrants a $17,000
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Act,6 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80 of the Rules,7 Alexandre Pierre Abelard aka Abelard
Pierre is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE in the amount of seventeen thousand dollars
($17,000) for willful violation of Sections 301 and 303(n)
of the Act by operating a radio station without Commission
authorization and for failing to allow an inspection of his
radio installation by authorized Commission representatives.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
1.80 of the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of
this NAL, Alexandre Pierre Abelard aka Abelard Pierre 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. and FRN referenced
above. Requests for payment of the full amount of this NAL
under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue
and Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20554.8
11. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, 445 12th
Street SW, Washington DC 20554, Attn: Enforcement Bureau-
Technical & Public Safety Division and MUST INCLUDE THE
NAL/Acct. No. referenced above.
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. Under the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of
2002, Pub L. No. 107-198, 116 Stat. 729 (June 28, 2002), the
FCC is engaged in a two-year tracking process regarding the
size of entities involved in forfeitures. If you qualify as
a small entity and if you wish to be treated as a small
entity for tracking purposes, please so certify to us within
thirty (30) days of this NAL, either in your response to the
NAL or in a separate filing to be sent to the Technical &
Public Safety Division. Your certification should indicate
whether you, including your parent entity and its
subsidiaries, meet one of the definitions set forth in the
list provided by the FCC's Office of Communications Business
Opportunities (OCBO) set forth in Attachment A of this
Notice of Apparent Liability. This information will be used
for tracking purposes only. Your response or failure to
respond to this question will have no effect on your rights
and responsibilities pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act. If you have questions regarding any of
the information contained in Attachment A, please contact
OCBO at (202) 418-0990.
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NAL
shall be sent by regular mail and Certified Mail Return
Receipt Requested to Alexandre Pierre Abelard aka Abelard
Pierre, 7961 Gladiolus Dr., Apt. 304, Fort Myers, FL 33908.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Ralph M. Barlow
Tampa Field Office, Enforcement
1 47 U.S.C. §§ 301 and 303(n).
2 Section 15.239(b) of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. §
15.239(b), provides that non-licensed broadcasting in the
88-108 MHz band is permitted only if the field strength of
the transmissions does not exceed 250 µV/m at three meters.
Measurements showed that the field strength of the station's
signal exceeded the permissible level for a non-licensed
low-power radio transmitter by 2,367 times.
3 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies equally 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).
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
7 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
8 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.