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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File Number EB-04-PA-083
Lou Gentile ) NAL/Acct. No. 200532400001
Philadelphia, PA ) FRN 0011588993
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
By the District Director, Philadelphia Office, Northeast Region,
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
("NAL"), we find that Lou Gentile apparently willfully violated
Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
("Act''), by operating an unlicensed radio transmitter on the
frequency 107.7 MHz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.1 We
conclude, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act, that Mr.
Gentile is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of
ten thousand dollars ($10,000). 2
2. On April 29, 2004, the FCC Enforcement Bureau's
Philadelphia Field Office (``Philadelphia Office'') received a
complaint about an illegal broadcast station operating on the
frequency 107.7 MHz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On May 6,
2004, an agent from the Philadelphia Office monitored the
frequency 107.7 MHz and observed a radio broadcast. Using
radio direction finding techniques, the agent determined that
the source of the signal was located at 4727 Oakmont Street,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19136. The agent took field
strength measurements and determined that the station required
a license to operate.3 A review of Commission records by the
agent revealed no authorization for the operation of a station
on the frequency 107.7 MHz in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
3. On May 7, 2004, the Philadelphia Office sent a warning
letter to Mr. Gentile 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.4 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, no response to
the warning letter was received by the Philadelphia Office.
4. During an interview with two Commission agents on June
9, 2004, Mr. Gentile admitted that he operated the radio
station on May 6, 2004 without a license.
5. 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. The term "willful"
as used in Section 503(b) of the Act has been interpreted to
mean simply that the acts or omissions are committed
6. Section 301 of the Act sets forth generally that no
person shall use or operate any apparatus for the transmission
of energy or communications or signals by radio except under
and in accordance with this Act and with a license in that
behalf granted under the provisions of this Act. On May 6,
2004, Mr. Gentile operated radio transmission equipment on the
frequency 107.7 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania without the
required Commission authorization. We also note that, during
an investigation conducted by the Philadelphia Office in 2002,
Mr. Gentile admitted to operating radio transmission equipment
without the required Commission authorization on frequency 95.3
7. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Mr.
Gentile willfully violated Section 301 of the Act by operating
an unlicensed radio transmitter on the frequency 107.7 MHz in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 6, 2004.
8. Pursuant to The Commission's Forfeiture Policy
Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines ("Forfeiture Policy
Statement"), and Section 1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture
amount for operating a radio transmitter without a valid
authorization is $10,000.6 In assessing the monetary
forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the statutory
factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, which
include the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the
violations, and with respect to the violator, the degree of
culpability, and history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and
other such matters as justice may require.7 Applying the
Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80, and the statutory
factors, a $10,000 forfeiture is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and
Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Lou
Gentile is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for
violation of Section 301 of the Act.8
10. 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, Lou Gentile SHALL PAY the full amount of the
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
11. 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 Forfeiture Collection Section,
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. Payment by overnight mail
may be sent to Bank One/LB 73482, 525 West Monroe, 8th Floor
Mailroom, Chicago, IL 60661. Payment by wire transfer may be
made to ABA Number 071000013, receiving bank Bank One, and
account number 1165259.
12. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Northeast
Region, Philadelphia Office, One Oxford Valley Office Building,
Room 404, 2300 East Lincoln Highway, Langhorne, PA, 19047,
within thirty (30) days of the release date of this Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and must include the
NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.
13. 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.
14. Requests for payment of the full amount of this
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture under an
installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and
Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20554.9
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice
of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture shall be sent by Certified
Mail, Return Receipt Requested, and regular mail, to Lou
Gentile, 4727 Oakmont Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19136.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
3 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.
4 The agent believed that Mr. Gentile resided at 4727 Oakmont
Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, based on a prior FCC
5Section 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).
612 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999);
47 C.F.R. §1.80.
747 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
847 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, and 0.311.
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.