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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
La Carpa Corporation ) File No. EB-06-SE-311
Satellite Earth Station, Call Sign ) NAL/Acct. No. 200732100012
) FRN: 0015987209
Cayey, Puerto Rico
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: February 12, 2007 Released: February 14, 2007
By the Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we find La Carpa
Corporation ("La Carpa"), former licensee of satellite earth station,
call sign E930493, Cayey, Puerto Rico ("Cayey earth station"),
apparently liable for forfeiture in the amount of six thousand, five
hundred dollars ($6,500) for operating its earth station without
Commission authority and for failing to timely file a renewal
application. La Carpa acted in apparent willful and repeated violation
of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, ("Act")
and Sections 25.102(a) and 25.121(e) of the Commission's Rules
2. La Carpa's license for its fixed-satellite service Cayey earth station
expired on December 23, 2003. On July 10, 2006, during a telephone
conversation with International Bureau staff concerning an unrelated
matter, La Carpa indicated that, to the best of its knowledge, the
license for the Cayey earth station did not have an expiration date.
Because it appeared that La Carpa may have operated the earth station
after the expiration of its license, the International Bureau referred
this case to the Enforcement Bureau for investigation and possible
enforcement action. On December 27, 2006, the Enforcement Bureau's
Spectrum Enforcement Division ("Division") issued a letter of inquiry
("LOI") to La Carpa.
3. In its January 16, 2007 response to the LOI, La Carpa explained that
it transmitted from the Cayey earth station from approximately 1994 to
1999, and did not transmit again from that earth station until May
2006, after upgrading its equipment. La Carpa also stated that its
operators "did not realize" that the license needed to be renewed. La
Carpa asserted that once it received the LOI, it initiated steps to
apply for special temporary authority ("STA") to continue operating
its earth station pending Commission action on a new license
application. According to Commission records, as of January 26, 2007,
La Carpa has not yet applied for an STA to continue operations at the
Cayey earth station.
4. 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,
Section 25.121(e) of the Rules requires that licensees file renewal
applications for earth stations "no earlier than 90 days, and no later
than 30 days, before the expiration of the license." Absent a timely
filed renewal application, an earth station license automatically
5. As a Commission licensee, La Carpa was required to maintain its
authorization in order to operate its earth station. La Carpa has
operated its Cayey earth station without Commission authority since
May of 2006, and has not applied for an STA to continue operations. By
operating its earth station for approximately nine months without an
instrument of authorization, La Carpa has apparently violated Section
301 of the Act and Section 25.102(a) of the Rules. La Carpa also acted
in apparent violation of Section 25.121(e) of the Rules by allowing
its license to lapse without renewal.
6. 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, it appears that La Carpa's violations of Section 301 of the
Act and Sections 25.102(a) and 25.121(e) of the Rules are willful and
7. In determining the appropriate forfeiture amount, 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
8. Section 1.80(b) of the Rules sets a base forfeiture amount of three
thousand dollars ($3,000) for failure to file required forms or
information and ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for operation of a
station without Commission authority. As the Commission recently held,
a licensee's failure to timely file a renewal application and its
continued operations without authorization constitute separate
violations of the Act and the Rules and warrant the assessment of
separate forfeitures. Accordingly, we herein propose separate
forfeiture amounts for La Carpa's separate violations.
9. Consistent with precedent, we propose a forfeiture in the amount of
$1,500 for La Carpa's failure to file a renewal application for its
earth station within the time period specified in Section 25.121(e) of
the Rules. Additionally, we propose a forfeiture in the amount of
$5,000 for La Carpa's operation of its earth station after December
23, 2003. In proposing this forfeiture amount, we recognize that the
Commission considers a licensee who operates a station with an expired
license in better stead than a pirate broadcaster who lacks prior
authority, and thus downwardly adjust the $10,000 base forfeiture
amount accordingly. Thus, we propose an aggregate forfeiture amount of
$6,500 ($1,500 for failure to file a timely renewal application and
$5,000 for unauthorized operation).
10. Finally, we find no basis for mitigation of the proposed forfeiture
amount. First, La Carpa claims that it did not realize that the Cayey
earth station license needed to be renewed. As a Commission licensee,
La Carpa is charged with the responsibility of knowing and complying
with the terms of its authorizations, the Act and the Rules, including
the requirement to timely renew the authorization for its earth
station. The Commission has long held that a downward adjustment of an
assessed forfeiture is not justified where violators claim their
actions or omissions were due to inadvertent errors or unfamiliarity
with the statutory or regulatory requirements. Second, La Carpa states
that once it received the LOI and learned that the Cayey earth station
license had lapsed, it initiated the process to correct the violation.
The Commission has explained that it "expects" violators to implement
corrective action to bring past violations into compliance, and
therefore, such actions do not nullify or mitigate past violations.
IV. ordering clauses
11. 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, La Carpa IS hereby
NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE in the amount of six
thousand, five hundred dollars ($6,500) for the willful and repeated
violation of Section 301 of the Act and Sections 25.102(a) and
25.121(e) of the Rules.
12. 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, La Carpa SHALL PAY the full amount of the
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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
16. Requests for payment of the full amount of the NAL under an
installment plan should be sent to: Associate Managing Director -
Financial Operations, 445 12^th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington,
17. 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 Mr. Julio Cruz Lopez, President, La Carpa
Corporation, P.O. Box 372620, Cayey, Puerto Rico 00737-2620.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kathryn S. Berthot
Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division
47 U.S.C. S 301.
47 C.F.R. SS 25.102(a) and 25.121(e).
Letter from Kathryn S. Berthot, Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division,
Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, to La Carpa
Corporation (Dec. 27, 2006).
Letter from Mr. Julio Cruz Lopez, President, La Carpa Corporation, to
Jennifer Burton, Esq., Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau,
Federal Communications Commission (Jan. 16, 2007).
47 C.F.R. S 25.121(e).
47 C.F.R. S 161(b).
47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S 1.80(a).
See Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991), recon. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992); see also WCS
Communications, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 13 FCC
Rcd 6691 (WTB, Enf. and Consumer Info. Div., 1998) (finding that a
licensee's inadvertent failure to file timely renewal applications
constitutes a repeated violation that continues until the date the license
47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(D). See also Forfeiture Policy Statement, Report and
Order, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17110 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303
47 C.F.R. 1.80(b).
See Discussion Radio, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of
Apparent Liability, 19 FCC Rcd 7433, 7438 (2004) (assessing a proposed
forfeitures of $5,000 and $1,500 against a broadcaster who both operated
its station for 14 months without Commission authority and failed to
timely file its renewal application) ("Discussion Radio").
See Discussion Radio,19 FCC Rcd at 7438 (proposing a $1,500 forfeiture for
failure to file a timely renewal application for a broadcast station); see
also Lazer Broadcasting Corporation, Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, 21 FCC Rcd 8710 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div., 2006) ("Lazer
Broadcasting"); Criswell College, Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, 21 FCC Rcd 5106, 5109 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div., 2006)
("Criswell"); National Weather Networks, Inc., Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, 21 FCC Rcd 3922, 3925 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf.
Div., 2006) ("NWN"); Journal Broadcast Corporation, Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, 20 FCC Rcd 18211, 18213 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum
Enf. Div., 2005) ("Journal Broadcast"); Shared Data Networks, LLC, Notice
of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 20 FCC Rcd 18184, 18187 (Enf. Bur.,
Spectrum Enf. Div., 2005) ("SDN").
See Discussion Radio, 19 FCC Rcd at 7438 (proposing a $5,000 forfeiture
for operating a station for 14 months beyond the expiration of its
license); see also Lazer Broadcasting, 21 FCC Rcd 8710; Criswell, 21 FCC
Rcd at 5107; NWN, 21 FCC Rcd at 3925; Journal Broadcast, 20 FCC Rcd at
18213; SDN, 20 FCC Rcd at 18187.
See Discussion Radio, 19 FCC Rcd at 7437.
See Profit Enterprises, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 8 FCC Rcd 2846, 2846
(1993) (denying the mitigation claim of a manufacturer/distributor who
thought that the equipment certification and marketing requirements were
inapplicable, stating that its "prior knowledge or understanding of the
law is unnecessary to a determination of whether a violation existed . . .
ignorance of the law is [not] a mitigating factor"); Lakewood Broadcasting
Service, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 37 FCC 2d 437, 438 (1972)
(denying a mitigation claim of a broadcast licensee who asserted an
unfamiliarity with the station identification requirements, stating that
licensees are expected "to know and conform their conduct to the
requirements of our rules").
See AT&T Wireless, Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd at 21875-76; Seawest Yacht
Brokers, Forfeiture Order, 9 FCC Rcd 6099, 6099 (1994).
47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80.
47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission DA 07-643
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-643