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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File No.: EB-10-MA-0207
John E. Criteser, Jr. ) NAL/Acct. No.: 201232600002
Lake Park, Florida ) FRN: 0016075715
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: October 21, 2011 Released: October 21, 2011
By the Resident Agent, Miami Office, South Central Region, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that John E. Criteser, Jr. ("Mr. Criteser") apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended ("Act"), by operating an unlicensed radio transmitter on the
frequency 95.1 MHz in Lake Park, Florida. We conclude that Mr.
Criteser is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of
fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).
2. On December 13, 2010, and July 8, 2011, in response to a complaint,
agents from the Enforcement Bureau's Miami Office ("Miami Office")
used direction-finding techniques to locate the source of radio
frequency transmissions on the frequency 95.1 MHz to Mr. Criteser's
residence in Lake Park, Florida. On both days, the agents determined
that the signals being broadcast exceeded the limits for operation
under Part 15 of the Commission's rules ("Rules"), and therefore
required a license.
3. Also, on July 8, 2011, agents from the Miami Office knocked on the
door of Mr. Criteser's residence and requested to inspect the radio
station located on the premises. The individual who answered the door
called for "John" and shut the door, during which time the agents
observed that the radio station on 95.1 MHz ceased operation.
Approximately 15 minutes later and after repeated knocks, Mr. Criteser
opened the door, identified himself, and admitted to agents that he
was operating a radio station on 95.1 MHz.
4. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who willfully or
repeatedly fails to comply substantially with the terms and conditions
of any license, or willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of
the provisions of the Act or of any rule, regulation, or order issued
by the Commission thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture
penalty. Section 312(f)(1) of the Act defines willful as the
"conscious and deliberate commission or omission of [any] act,
irrespective of any intent to violate" the law. The legislative
history to section 312(f)(1) of the Act clarifies that this definition
of willful applies to both sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act, and the
Commission has so interpreted the term in the section 503(b) context.
The Commission may also assess a forfeiture for violations that are
merely repeated, and not willful. The term "repeated" means the
commission or omission of such act more than once or for more than one
5. 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. On
December 13, 2010, and July 8, 2011, Mr. Criteser operated an
unlicensed radio station on the frequency 95.1 MHz from his residence
in Lake Park, Florida. A review of the Commission's records revealed
that Mr. Criteser did not have a license to operate a radio station on
this frequency at this location. Moreover, on July 8, 2011, Mr.
Criteser admitted operating the radio station from his residence.
Because Mr. Criteser operated this station consciously on more than
one day, we find that the apparent violations were not only willful,
but also repeated. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Mr.
Criteser apparently willfully and repeatedly violated section 301 of
the Act by operating radio transmission equipment without the required
6. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture amount for operation without an
instrument of authorization is $10,000. In assessing the monetary
forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the statutory
factors set forth in section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, which include
the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violations, 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. Here, we find that consideration of the foregoing
statutory factors justifies an upward adjustment of the base
forfeiture amount. Commission records show that the Miami Office hand
delivered a Notice of Unlicensed Operation ("NOUO") to Mr. Criteser
for operation of an unlicensed station on the frequency 91.5 MHz at
the same location on May 22, 2007. The fact that Mr. Criteser
continued to operate an unlicensed station after being put on notice
four years earlier that his unlicensed operation contravened the Act,
the Commission's rules, and related Commission orders demonstrates a
deliberate disregard for the Commission's requirements. Thus, we find
that an upward adjustment in the forfeiture amount of $5,000 is
warranted. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, section 1.80 of
the Rules, and the statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude
that Mr. Criteser is apparently liable for a forfeiture of $15,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and sections 0.111, 0.204,
0.311, 0.314, and 1.80 of the Commission's rules, John E. Criteser,
Jr. is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in
the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for violations of
section 301 of the Act.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to section 1.80 of the
Commission's rules within thirty (30) days of the release date of this
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, John E. Criteser, Jr.,
SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a
written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
9. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by credit card, check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal Communications
Commission. The payment must include the 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. If you have questions regarding payment
procedures, please contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk at
1-877-480-3201 or Email: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov. If payment is made, John
E. Criteser, Jr. will send electronic notification on the date said
payment is made to SCR-Response@fcc.gov.
10. The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
proposed forfeiture, if any, must include a detailed factual statement
supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits pursuant to
sections 1.16 and 1.80(f)(3) of the Rules. Mail the written statement
to Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, South
Central Region, Miami Office, PO Box 520617, Miami, Florida 33152 and
include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption. In addition, John
E. Criteser, Jr., shall email the written response to
11. 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 submitted.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture shall be sent by both Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested, and regular mail, to John E. Criteser, Jr. at his address
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
South Central Region
47 U.S.C. S: 301.
Part 15 of the Rules sets out the conditions and technical requirements
under which certain radio transmission devices may be used without a
license. In relevant part, section 15.239 of the Rules 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 mV/m at three
meters. 47 C.F.R. S: 15.239.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1).
H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982) ("This provision
[inserted in section 312] defines the terms `willful' and `repeated' for
purposes of section 312, and for any other relevant section of the act
(e.g., section 503) . . . . As defined[,] . . . `willful' means that the
licensee knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless of whether
there was an intent to violate the law. `Repeated' means more than once,
or where the act is continuous, for more than one day. Whether an act is
considered to be `continuous' would depend upon the circumstances in each
case. The definitions are intended primarily to clarify the language in
sections 312 and 503, and are consistent with the Commission's application
of those terms . . . .").
See, e.g., Application for Review of Southern California Broadcasting Co.,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991) ("Southern
California Broadcasting Co.").
See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362 P: 10 (2001) ("Callais
Cablevision, Inc.") (proposing a forfeiture for, inter alia, a cable
television operator's repeated signal leakage).
Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd at 4388, para. 5; Callais
Cablevision, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd at 1362, para. 9.
47 U.S.C. S: 301.
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) ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), recon. denied, 15
FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
John E. Criteser, Jr., Notice of Unlicensed Operation (Enf. Bur., Miami
Office, dated May 22, 2007).
See Robert Brown, Forfeiture Order, 26 FCC Rcd 6854 (Enf. Bur. 2011),
aff'g Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 25 FCC Rcd 13740 (Enf.
Bur. 2010) (petition for reconsideration pending); Loyd Morris, Forfeiture
Order, 26 FCC Rcd 6856 (Enf. Bur. 2011), aff'g Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, 25 FCC Rcd 13736 (Enf. Bur 2010) (petition for
47 U.S.C. S:S: 301, 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314,
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
47 C.F.R. S:S: 1.16, 1.80(f)(3).
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Federal Communications Commission DA 11-1750
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-1750