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                                   Before the

                       Federal Communications Commission

                             Washington, D.C. 20554

     In the Matter of                      )                               
     American General Finance, Inc.        )   File No. EB-05-SE-211       
     Licensee of Earth Stations E950320,   )   NAL/Acct. No. 200632100015  
     E950321, E950322, E950323             )   FRN # 0013399076            
     Evansville, Indiana                   )                               


   Adopted: June 27, 2006 Released: June 29, 2006

   By the Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau:

   I.  introduction

    1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we find American
       General Finance, Inc. ("AGF"), licensee of Ku-band satellite earth
       stations E950320, E950321, E950322, and E95323, in Evansville,
       Indiana, apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $20,000
       for unauthorized modifications made to its Very Small Aperture
       Terminal ("VSAT") network, in apparent willful and repeated violation
       of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, ("Act")
       and Sections 25.102(a) and 25.117(a) of the Commission's Rules

   II.  background

    2. AGF is a large consumer finance company that has a licensed fixed
       satellite VSAT network, which consists of a hub earth station with
       call sign E950320, and three associated remote earth stations with
       call signs E950321, E950322, E950323. On June 2, 2005, AGF filed with
       the Commission's International Bureau a request for Special Temporary
       Authority ("STA")  for each of the four stations. AGF had previously
       modified each station's operation such that each station's operation
       was no longer consistent with its authorization. Through each STA
       request, AGF sought temporary authority to continue operation of each
       station with the unauthorized modified facilities. AGF also included
       information indicating that it had failed to seek authority for a
       transfer of control from its parent company, American International
       Group, in 2001. Also on June 2, 2005, AGF filed a renewal of license
       application for each of the four stations in advance of each station's
       license expiration date of July 14, 2005.

    3. In each STA request, AGF disclosed that "[d]ue to an inadvertent
       misunderstanding on the part of AGF's technical staff, AGF failed to
       file a request for modification at the time it made [certain] changes
       to its facilities." AGF stated that it regretted its oversight in
       changing its network operations without first requesting authority
       from the Commission to do so, and that "it has taken measures to
       ensure future compliance with the Commission's rules." On June 8,
       2005, in another correspondence with the International Bureau, AGF
       admitted that it became aware of these oversights "[d]uring the course
       of preparing renewal applications for these licenses ...."

    4. In the June 8, 2005 correspondence, AGF described the three
       modifications it made without Commission approval as follows. In
       January, 2003, it added three emission designators to each of its four
       stations ("modification 1"); in January, 2003, it also added remote
       antennas in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands at stations
       E950322 and E950323 ("modification 2"); and, in October, 2004, it
       began deploying 98 cm antennas at station E950321 ("modification 3").

    5. The International Bureau granted the STAs for all four stations for 60
       days on July 14, 2005, and granted all four license renewal
       applications on July 15, 2005. On the same date, July 15, 2005, the
       International Bureau referred the case to the Enforcement Bureau for
       investigation and possible enforcement action. On July 29, 2005, AGF
       filed four modification applications which the International Bureau
       granted on September 30, 2005. Both the STAs and the modification
       applications were granted "without prejudice to any future enforcement
       action against the company in connection with unauthorized operation
       of its radio facilities."

   III. Discussion

    1. Section 301 of the Act and Section 25.102(a) of the Rules prohibit the
       use or operation of any apparatus for the transmission of energy or
       communications or signals by an earth station except under, and in
       accordance with, a Commission-granted authorization. Additionally,
       under Section 25.117(a) of the Rules, Commission approval is required
       before a modification may be implemented which affects the parameters
       or terms and conditions of a Part 25 radio station authorization. In
       its STA applications and correspondence, AGF acknowledges that its
       personnel made the unauthorized modifications listed above. The effect
       of modification 1, adding unauthorized emission designators to each of
       the four stations, was to increase impermissibly the bandwidth of its
       emissions. With modification 2, adding remote terminals in Puerto Rico
       and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AGF expanded its area of operation
       without authorization. Modification 3, deploying unauthorized 98 cm
       antennas, violated the Commission's two degree spacing policy and
       thereby creates the potential for causing interference. Thus, all
       three modifications affected the parameters or terms and conditions of
       AGF's authorizations. Therefore, AGF's failure to obtain prior
       Commission approval before implementing the modifications violated
       Section 25.117(a) of the Rules.

    2. Section 503(b) of the Act, and Section 1.80(a) of the Rules, provide
       that any person who willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with the
       provisions of the Act or the Rules shall be liable for a forfeiture
       penalty. For purposes of Section 503(b) of the Act, the term "willful"
       means that the violator knew that it was taking the action in
       question, irrespective of any intent to violate the Commission's
       Rules, and "repeatedly" means more than once. Based upon the record
       before us, AGF apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section
       301 of the Act and Sections 25.102(a) and 25.117(a) of the Rules by
       the modifications made to its stations without Commission authority.
       We therefore find that a forfeiture penalty is warranted.

    3. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80(b) of
       the Rules establish a base forfeiture amount of four thousand dollars
       ($4,000) for unauthorized emissions and construction or operation at
       an unauthorized location, and five thousand dollars ($5,000) for use
       of unauthorized equipment. We believe that AGF's unauthorized
       modifications justify the following proposed forfeitures. For AGF's
       addition of unauthorized emission designators, which increased the
       bandwidth of its emissions for all four stations (modification 1), we
       propose a $4,000 forfeiture for each violation, or $16,000. For AGF's
       expansion of its area of operation at two of its stations by adding
       remote antennas in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands without
       authorization, we propose a $4,000 forfeiture for each station, or
       $8,000 (modification 2). Lastly, for AGF's deployment of unauthorized
       98 cm antennas (modification 3), we propose a $5,000 forfeiture
       because the unauthorized antennas violated the Commission's two degree
       spacing policy and thereby created the potential for interference. The
       proposed forfeiture amount for these four violations totals $29,000.

    4. In proposing a forfeiture, Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act directs us
       to consider factors, such as "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 such other matters as justice may require." Considering the
       statutory factors as explained above, we find it appropriate to reduce
       the proposed aggregate forfeiture of $29,000, based on the fact that
       AGF has a history of compliance and that it voluntarily disclosed the
       violations to Commission staff. Accordingly, on the basis of AGF's
       history of compliance and voluntary disclosure, we are downwardly
       adjusting the proposed forfeiture from $29,000 to $20,000.


    5. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to pursuant to Section
       503(b) of the Act and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the Rules,
       American General Finance, Inc. IS hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT
       LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of twenty thousand dollars
       ($20,000) for its apparent willful and repeated violations of Section
       301 of the Act, and Sections 25.102(a) and 25.117(a) of the Rules.

    6. 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 for Forfeiture, American General Finance, Inc. SHALL PAY the
       full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
       statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed

    7. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument,
       payable to the order of the Federal Communications Commission.  The
       payment must include the NAL/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced above.
       Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Federal
       Communications Commission, P.O. Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA
       15251-8340.  Payment by overnight mail may be sent to Mellon
       Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room 1540670, Pittsburgh, PA
       15251.   Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number 043000261,
       receiving bank Mellon Bank, and account number 911-6106. A request for
       full payment under an installment plan should be sent to: Associate
       Managing Director - Financial Operations, 445 12^th Street, S.W., Room
       1A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.

    8. The response, if any, must be mailed to the Office of the Secretary,
       Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington,
       D.C. 20554, ATTN: Enforcement Bureau - Spectrum Enforcement Division,
       and must include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.

    9. 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; 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 submitted.

   10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
       for Forfeiture shall be sent by first class mail and certified mail
       return receipt requested to counsel for American General Finance,
       Inc., Elizabeth Park, Esq., Latham & Watkins LLP, 555 11^th St., N.W.,
       Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20004.


   Joseph P. Casey

   Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division

   Enforcement Bureau

   11.7-12.2 and 14.0-14.5 GHz bands.

   47 U.S.C. S 301.

   47 C.F.R. SS 25.102(a) and 25.117(a).

   AGF uses the VSAT network to manage, distribute and collect information
   among its headquarters and its branch offices, and to facilitate
   administration of lending, financing and other credit transactions with
   its customers.

   Filings from Elizabeth Park, Counsel for AGF, to the International Bureau,
   Federal Communications Commission (June 2, 2005).

   The unauthorized transfer of control admission will be referred to the
   Investigations and Hearings Division of the Enforcement Bureau for
   appropriate action.

   See Attachment A to each STA that AGF filed, supra, n. 5.


   E-Mail from Elizabeth Park, counsel for AGF, to the Satellite Division,
   International Bureau, Federal Communications Commission (June 8, 2005).


   See File No. SES-STA-20050602-00677, SES-STA-20050602-00678,
   SES-STA-20050602-00679, and SES-STA-20050602-00680. The International
   Bureau renewed all the STAs on September 13, 2005, for 30 days under File
   Nos.  SES-STA-20050909-01244, SES-STA-20050909-01245,
   SES-STA-20050909-01246, and SES-STA-20050909-01247.

   See File Nos. SES-RWL-20050625-00755, SES-RWL-20050625-00756,
   SES-RWL-20050625-00757, and SES-RWL-20050625-00758.

   See File Nos. SES-MOD-20050802-01027, SES-MOD-20050802-01028,
   SES-MOD-20050802-01029 and, SES-MOD-20050802-01030.

   Supra, notes 11 and 13.

   None of the exceptions to the requirement of prior Commission approval for
   modifications, as described in Section 25.118 of the Rules, 47 C.F.R. S
   25.118, apply here.

   See 47 C.F.R. S 25.134. This section explains the licensing provisions of
   VSAT networks.

   47 U.S.C. S 503(b).

   47 C.F.R. S 1.80(a).

   Section 312(f) (1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S 312(f) (1), which applies to
   violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 503(b) of the
   Act, provides that "[t]he term `willful,' ... means the conscious and
   deliberate commission or omission of such act, irrespective of any intent
   to violate any provision of this Act or any rule or regulation of the
   Commission authorized by this Act ...." See Southern California
   Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991) ("Southern California")
   (discussing legislative history regarding applicability of Section
   312(f)(1) definition of "willful" to Section 503(b)).

   Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S 312(f)(2), which also applies to
   forfeitures assessed pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that
   "[t]he term `repeated,' ... means the commission or omission of such act
   more than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous, for more
   than one day." See Southern California, supra, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388.

   The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement  and Amendment of Section
   1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd
   17087, 17114 (1997), recon. denied (1999)("Forfeiture Policy Statement").

   47 C.F.R. S 1.80(b)(4), Note to paragraph (b)(4); Section I. Base Amounts
   for Section 503 Forfeitures.

   These violations occurred at earth stations E950322 and E950323.

   This violation occurred at earth station E950321.

   47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(D). See also 47 C.F.R. S 1.80(b)(4), Note to
   paragraph (b)(4): Section II. Adjustment Criteria for Section 503
   Forfeitures; Forfeiture Policy Statement, supra.

   See, e.g., KGB, Inc., 13 FCC Rcd 16396, 16398 (1998)(reducing the proposed
   forfeiture from $11,500 to $9,200 for airing indecent material due to the
   broadcast licensee's history of overall compliance); South Central
   Communications Corp., 18 FCC Rcd 700, 702 (Enf. Bur. 2003)(reducing the
   proposed forfeiture from $10,000 to $8,000 for antenna structure lighting
   violations due to the licensee's history of overall compliance).

   See Petracom of Texarkana, LLC, 19 FCC Rcd 8096, 8097-8098 (Enf. Bur.
   2004); see also  Criswell College, 21 FCC Rcd 5106, 5109 (Enf. Bur.,
   Spectrum Enf. Div., 2006); Gilmore Broadcasting Corporation, DA 06-1189 at
   P 10 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div., June 5, 2006).

   47 U.S.C. S 503(b).

   47 C.F.R. S 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80.

   47 C.F.R. S 1.80.

   See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.

   Federal Communications Commission DA 06-1324


   Federal Communications Commission DA 06-1324