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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Louis Gentile ) File Number EB-04-
Philadelphia, PA )
) NAL/Acct. No.
Adopted: January 5, 2006 Released: January
By the Regional Director, Northeast Region, Enforcement
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) to Louis Gentile for willful violation of
Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
(``Act'').1 The noted violation involves Mr. Gentile's
operation of a radio station on the frequency 107.7 MHz in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania without a Commission license.
2. On April 29, 2004, the Commission's Philadelphia
Field Office (``Philadelphia Office'') received a
complaint about an illegal broadcast station operating on
the frequency 107.7 MHz in Philadelphia, PA. On May 6,
2004, an agent from the Philadelphia Office monitored the
frequency 107.7 MHz and, using direction-finding
techniques, determined that the radio station broadcasting
on the frequency 107.7 MHz was operating from 4727 Oakmont
Street, Philadelphia, PA. The agent took field strength
measurements and determined that the station required a
license to operate.2 The Commission's database contained
no record of a station authorized to operate on 107.7 MHz
in Philadelphia, PA.
3. On May 7, 2004, the Philadelphia Office sent a
warning letter to Mr. Gentile, who resides at 4727 Oakmont
Street, Philadelphia, PA, by Certified Mail, Return
Receipt Requested, advising him that the operation of a
radio station on the frequency 107.7 MHz without a license
violates Section 301 of the Act. The letter requested
that Mr. Gentile provide a response within ten (10) days
of receipt of the letter. Although the Return Receipt
indicates that the letter was received and signed for by
Antoinette Gentile, the Philadelphia Office did not
receive a response to the warning letter from Mr. Gentile.
4. During an interview with two Commission agents on
June 9, 2004 at 4727 Oakmont Street in Philadelphia, PA,
Mr. Gentile admitted that he operated a radio station on
107.7 MHz on May 6, 2004 without a license.
5. On November 12, 2004, the Philadelphia Office
issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to
Mr. Gentile in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) for the apparent willful violation of Section
301 of the Act.3 In his response, Mr. Gentile claims that
he did not admit to operating a radio station on 107.7 MHz
in 2004 and that he has never operated an unlicensed
station on that frequency in Philadelphia, PA. He further
states that nothing has ever been found at his house and
there could be radio stations operating somewhere else in
the vicinity of his house.4
6. The forfeiture amount proposed in this case was
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Act,5
Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules (``Rules''),6 and
the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment
of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture
Guidelines.7 In assessing forfeitures, Section
503(b)(2)(D) of the Act requires that we take into account
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.8
7. Section 301 of the Act states that no person shall
use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of
energy or communications or signals by radio within the
United States except under and in accordance with the Act
and with a license granted under the provisions of the
Act. We decline to accept as credible Mr. Gentile's
response denying operation of the radio station and his
claim that the unlicensed operation could have been
``anywhere in the vicinity of my house.'' Agents
determined, through the use of direction-finding
techniques, that a station operated on 107.7 MHz from 4727
Oakmont Street in Philadelphia, PA, Mr. Gentile's
residence, without a license. Contrary to Mr. Gentile's
claim that nothing has ever been found at his house,
agents observed a radio transmitting antenna on the roof
of 4727 Oakmont Street and a coaxial cable going from the
antenna on the roof into the basement of the house. Mr.
Gentile provides no explanation for the inconsistency
between his contemporaneous admission on June 9, 2004 that
he operated the station, which was documented by FCC
agents, and his recantation of such admission in response
to the NAL. We therefore find that his statements denying
the admission and denying any unlicensed operation on
107.7 MHz are unreliable and not supported by the record.
Accordingly, we stand by our agents' findings and conclude
that Mr. Gentile willfully9 violated Section 301 of the
8. We have examined Mr. Gentile's response to the NAL
pursuant to the statutory factors above, and in
conjunction with the Forfeiture Policy Statement. As a
result of our review, we conclude that Mr. Gentile
willfully violated Section 301 of the Act. We find no
basis for cancellation or reduction of the $10,000
forfeiture proposed for this violation.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80(f)(4) of the Rules,10 Louis Gentile IS LIABLE FOR A
MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) for willful and repeated violation of Section
301 of the Act.
10. 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. Payment by wire transfer may
be made to ABA Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon
Bank, and account number 911-6106. Requests for full
payment under an installment plan should be sent to:
Associate Managing Director, Financial Operations, 445
12th Street, S.W., Room 1A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.11
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this
Order shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail
Return Receipt Requested to Louis Gentile at his address
Russell Monie, Jr.
Regional Director, Northeast
147 U.S.C. § 301.
2 Section 15.239 of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. §
15.239, provides that non-licensed broadcasting in the 88-
108 MHz band is permitted only if the field strength of the
transmission does not exceed 250 µV/m at three meters. In
this instance, the measurements showed that the field
strength of the station's signal exceeded the permissible
level for a non-licensed low-power station by 1,617 times.
3Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200532400001 (Enf. Bureau, Philadelphia Office, November
4We do not address here the concerns Mr. Gentile raises in
his response regarding other unlicensed stations may be
operating in the Philadelphia, PA area.
547 U.S.C. § 503(b).
647 C.F.R. § 1.80.
712 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303
(1999) (``Forfeiture Policy Statement'').
847 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
9 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 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', 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 or any
rule or regulation of the Commission authorized by this
Act...." See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC
Rcd 4387 (1991).
1047 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
11See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.