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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
File No. EB-06-SE-388
Richard Mann d/b/a )
NAL/Acct. No. 200732100016
The Antique Radio Collector )
FRN No.: 0016215626
Toledo, Ohio )
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Adopted: April 28, 2008 Released: April 30, 2008
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Memorandum Opinion and Order, we deny a Petition for
Reconsideration filed by Richard Mann d/b/a The Antique Radio
Collector ("Antique Radio Collector"). Antique Radio Collector seeks
reconsideration of a Forfeiture Order issued by the Spectrum
Enforcement Division ("Division") of the Enforcement Bureau on
November 27, 2007, in the amount of seven thousand dollars ($7,000)
for willful and repeated violations of Section 302(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), and Section
2.803(a)(1) of the Commission's Rules ("Rules"). The noted violations
involved Antique Radio Collector's marketing of uncertified AM radio
2. On November 15, 2006, the Division sent a letter of inquiry ("LOI") to
Antique Radio Collector in response to a complaint alleging that
Antique Radio Collector was marketing in the United States fully
assembled uncertified AM transmitters, specifically the SSTRAN model
AMT3000 AM transmitters ("AMT3000 AM transmitters"). In its LOI
Response, Antique Radio Collector indicated that it was not aware of a
Commission issued certification authorizing a fully assembled AMT3000
AM transmitter. The LOI Response indicated that Mr. Mann, the owner of
Antique Radio Collector, purchased AMT3000 AM transmitter kits from a
third party, assembled the transmitters at his residence, and
advertised the assembled transmitters for sale online at the web site,
www.oldtimeradioprograms.com. The LOI Response further indicated that
Antique Radio Collector had sold a number of completed AMT3000 AM
transmitters to end users since December 2003.
3. On March 15, 2007, the Division issued a Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture ("NAL") to Antique Radio Collector proposing a
forfeiture in the amount of seven ($7,000) for marketing uncertified
fully assembled AMT3000 AM transmitters in apparent willful and
repeated violation of Section 302(b) of the Act and 2.803(a) of the
Rules. In Response to the NAL, Antique Radio Collector sought
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture amount contending that Antique
Radio Collector did not possess or offer "fully assembled transmitters
for sale." Rather, Antique Radio Collector argued that it offered only
a service to assemble AM transmitter kits made available by the
manufacturer, and therefore, had not violated the Rules or the Act.
4. On November 27, 2007, the Division issued a Forfeiture Order which
affirmed the NAL, and assessed a $7,000 forfeiture to Antique Radio
Collector for willful and repeated violations of the subject sections
of the Act and the Rules. The Forfeiture Order found no merit to
Antique Radio Collector's claim that it sold only an assembly service
of a product manufactured by a third party noting that "the sale and
shipment of an unauthorized device assembled from a kit violates
Section 302(b) of the Act and Section 2.803(a) (1) of the Rules,
regardless of the identity of the kit manufacturer."
5. On December 27, 2007, Antique Radio Collector filed a Petition for
Reconsideration seeking cancellation or reduction of the forfeiture.
In its Petition for Reconsideration, Mr. Mann submits that his review
and interpretation of the Rules led him to believe that offering his
services to complete an un-built Part 15 compliant transmitter "kit"
was not in violation of the Rules so long as the operation complies
with the Rules. Antique Radio Collector requests the same
consideration given in cases where a citation is issued and no
forfeiture is assessed, or alternatively a reduction in the
forfeiture. In this respect, Antique Radio Collector states that the
forfeiture assessed on Antique Radio Collector, an "individual"
engaged in a casual source of income, is excessive when compared to
the forfeiture assessed on a business entity regularly engaged in the
manufacture of electronic equipment.
6. The forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance with
Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"),
Section 1.80 of the Rules, and the Commission's Forfeiture Policy
Statement. In examining Antique Radio Collector's petition, Section
503(b) of the Act requires that the Commission 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. As discussed below, we conclude that the $7,000 forfeiture
was fully consistent with these statutory provisions and the
Commission's precedent; accordingly, we deny Antique Radio Collector's
petition for reconsideration.
7. At the outset, we observe that Antique Radio Collector again does not
dispute that it assembled the AMT3000 AM transmitters and marketed its
fully assembled AMT3000 AM transmitters on its website. Rather,
Antique Radio Collector's argument in support of reconsideration is
based on its belief that its assembly service did not violate the
Rules. It is, however, a well established and long-standing principle
that mistaken belief or ignorance of the law is not a mitigating
factor and does not warrant a downward adjustment of an assessed
8. Further, we find that Antique Radio Collector's reliance on cases
where a citation was issued is misplaced. Unlike those cases, Antique
Radio Collector assembled the AMT3000 AM transmitter and,
consequently, was responsible for ensuring that its equipment complied
with the Commission's technical standards and was certificated prior
to marketing. Because Antique Radio Collector was engaging in an
activity for which a certification was required, i.e., the assembly
and marketing of intentional radiators, the Commission was not
required under Section 503(b)(5) of the Act to issue it a citation
prior to issuance of an NAL.
9. We also disagree with Antique Radio Collector that the forfeiture
assessed in this case is excessive. As stated in the Forfeiture Order,
$7,000 is the base forfeiture amount for marketing unauthorized
equipment set forth in the Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section
1.80 of the Rules. In this case, Antique Radio Collector marketed one
model of uncertified AM transmitting equipment, the AMT3000 AM
transmitter. The assessed forfeiture of $7,000 is therefore
appropriate and consistent with precedent for violations involving the
marketing of unauthorized equipment. Moreover, to the extent that
Antique Radio Collector asserts that it is an "individual" engaged in
a casual source of income, rather than a business entity regularly
engaged in the manufacture of electronic equipment, it has failed to
provide any financial documentation supporting an inability to pay the
forfeiture amount. As explicitly stated in the NAL, we 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.
10. Finally, we note that Antique Radio Collector is apparently continuing
to assemble uncertified equipment and market this equipment on its
website, www.oldtimeradioprograms.com. Specifically, on February 13,
2008, Bureau staff observed that Antique Radio Collector was marketing
on its website an SSTRAN AMT3000 AM "Enhanced" Transmitter Kit for
$175.95. The website indicates that "[y]ou only need to install the
integrated circuits (no tools required) and the circuit board itself
into the included plastic case to build a legal FCC Part 15 compliant
AM transmitter." Thus, it appears that Antique Radio Collector is
attempting to circumvent the prohibition on marketing of uncertified
equipment by fully assembling the "kit," except for the final step of
installing the integrated circuits and circuit board into the
transmitter case. A device which simply requires installation of the
integrated circuits and circuit board in a plastic case is not a "kit"
within the meaning of Section 15.3(p) of the Rules. We caution Antique
Radio Collector that its continued marketing of the SSTRAN AMT3000 AM
"Enhanced" Transmitter Kit is a violation of Section 302(b) of the Act
and Section 2.803(a)(1) of the Rules and may subject Antique Radio
Collector to additional forfeiture penalties. We accordingly direct
Antique Radio Collector to submit a report within 30 days of the
release of this Order confirming that it has ceased all marketing of
the SSTRAN AMT3000 AM "Enhanced" Transmitter Kit.
11. We have examined Antique Radio Collector's petition for
reconsideration pursuant to the statutory factors prescribed by
Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act and Section 1.80 of the Rules, and in
conjunction with the Forfeiture Policy Statement. As a result of our
reconsideration, we find that neither cancellation nor reduction of
the forfeiture is warranted and that the Forfeiture Order should be
IV. ordering clauses
12. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 405(b) of the
Act, and Section 1.106(f) of the Rules, the Petition for
Reconsideration of the Forfeiture Order filed by Richard Mann d/b/a
The Antique Radio Collector IS DENIED.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 403 of the Act,
Richard Mann d/b/a The Antique Radio Collector IS DIRECTED to submit
the report required by paragraph 10 of this Order within 30 days of
the release of this Order.
14. 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/Account Number and FRN Number referenced
above. Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000.
Payment by overnight mail may be sent to U.S. Bank - Government
Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO
63101. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number 021030004,
receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and account number 27000001. For payment by
credit card, an FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted.
When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the NAL/Account number in
block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and enter the letters "FORF" in
block number 24A (payment type code). Requests for full payment under
an installment plan should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer --
Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington,
D.C. 20554. Please contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk
at 1-877-480-3201 or Email: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov with any questions
regarding payment procedures.
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Memorandum Opinion and Order
shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Richard Mann d/b/a The Antique Radio Collector, 4231
Willys Parkway, Toledo, Ohio 43612.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kris Anne Monteith
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
On December 27, 2007, Richard Mann d/b/a The Antique Radio Collector filed
a pleading captioned "Appeal of Forfeiture Order." Pursuant to Section
1.106 of the Rules, 47 C.F.R. S: 1.106, we are treating this pleading as a
petition for reconsideration.
Richard Mann d/b/a The Antique Radio Collector, Forfeiture Order, 22 FCC
Rcd 20516 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div. 2007) ("Forfeiture Order").
47 U.S.C. S: 302a(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 2.803(a)(1).
Letter from Kathryn Berthot, Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division,
Enforcement Bureau, to Richard Mann, Antique Radio Collector (November 15,
Letter from Richard Mann d/b/a The Antique Radio Collector to Neal McNeil,
Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau (November 25, 2006)
Richard Mann d/b/a The Antique Radio Collector, Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, 22 FCC Rcd 4956 (Spectrum Enf. Div., Enf. Bur.,
Response to NAL from Richard Mann d/b/a The Antique Radio Collector (April
Forfeiture Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 20518.
See supra. note 1.
Petition for Reconsideration at 2.
Id., citing Basic Home Shopping, Citation, 22 FCC Rcd 19162 (Spectrum Enf.
Div., Enf. Bur. 2007).
Id., citing Ramsey Electronics, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, 21 FCC Rcd 458 (Spectrum Enf. Div., Enf. Bur. 2006).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and Order,
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) ("Forfeiture
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(D).
See Profit Enterprises, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 8 FCC Rcd 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"); see also Southern
California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387,
4387-88 (1991), recon. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992) ("Southern
See 47 C.F.R. S: 2.909(a).
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(5) (stating that "[t]he provisions of this
paragraph shall not apply, however, if the person involved in engaging in
activities for which a license, permit, or other authorization is
See Forfeiture Policy Statement 12 FCC Rcd at 17113; 47 C.F.R. S:
1.80(b)(4), Note to Paragraph (b)(4): Section I. Base Amounts for Section
See e.g., Liam Patrick Ryan d/b/a L. P. Ryan, Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture, 22 FCC Rcd 19783, 19785 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div.
2007) (proposing a $7,000 forfeiture for marketing one model of
uncertified equipment); Microwave Radio Communications LLC, Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 22 FCC Rcd 18871, 18873 (Enf. Bur.,
Spectrum Enf. Div. 2007) (proposing a $7,000 forfeiture for marketing one
model of uncertified equipment).
See NAL, 22 FCC Rcd at 4958.
See 47 C.F.R. S: 15.3(p).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S: 405.
47 C.F.R. S: 1.106(f).
(Continued from previous page)
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-968
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-968