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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of EB-09-LA-0001
Tropicana Products Inc. NAL/Acct. No.200932900006
City of Industry, CA FRN: 0019140367
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: September 28, 2009
By the District Director, Los Angeles Office, Western Region, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that Tropicana Products Inc. ("Tropicana"), former licensee of PLMRS
station WPIJ645, in City of Industry, California, apparently
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended ("Act") by operating radio transmitters
without a license. We conclude, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), that Tropicana is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of five thousand
2. On May 1, 2009, in response to a complaint about Tropicana's expired
radio license, WPIJ645, which had authorized operations on
462.275/467.275 MHz in the City of Industry, California, an agent from
the Enforcement Bureau's Los Angeles Office employed a Mobile
Direction Finding ("MDF") vehicle to monitor 462.275/467.275 MHz in
the City of Industry, CA. Voice transmissions were detected and
determined to be emanating from Tropicana's complex at 240 N. Orange
Ave, City of Industry, California, on 462.275 MHz. The agent then
conducted an inspection of two portable radios in use at the Tropicana
complex. Both radios transmitted on the frequency 462.275 MHz. During
the inspection, an engineering manager at the complex informed the
agent that the radios had been in use for eight to nine years. The
engineering manager was unable to provide the agent with a copy of a
FCC license for Tropicana's use of 462.275 MHz.
3. On May 12, 2009, the Los Angeles Office issued a Letter of Inquiry
("LOI") to Tropicana. The LOI requested, in part, a copy of
Tropicana's authorization to operate transmitters on 462.275 MHz. On
July 2, 2009, Tropicana telephoned the Los Angeles Office and stated
that the license had been found, but was expired. The engineering
manager then contacted the Los Angeles Office on July 6, 2009, and
asked for information concerning how to renew the license.
4. Commission records show call sign WPIJ645 was granted to Tropicana
Products Inc. and listed the frequencies 462.275/467.275 MHz, but the
authorization expired on September 14, 2005, and was cancelled by the
Commission on January 7, 2006. Commission records show no current
authorization for Tropicana to operate on 462.275 MHz in City of
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) has been
interpreted to mean simply that the acts or omissions are committed
knowingly. The term "repeated" means the commission or omission of
such act more than once or for more than one day.
6. 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... except under and in accordance with this Act and
with a license in that behalf granted under the provisions of this
Act." Tropicana's license to operate on 462.275 MHz, under call sign
WPIJ645, expired on September 14, 2005. The investigation on May 1,
2009, determined that Tropicana was still operating station WPIJ645 on
462.275 MHz. The engineering manager at the site acknowledged that the
operation had been ongoing for several years. The violation occurred
on more than one day, therefore, it was repeated. Having held an
authorization before, Tropicana was aware such operations required a
license. Therefore, the violation was willful. Based on the evidence
before us, we find that Tropicana apparently willfully and repeatedly
violated Section 301 of the Act.
7. 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 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, and history of prior
offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters as justice may
require. Because the Commission considers a licensee who operates with
an expired license in better stead than a pirate broadcaster who lacks
prior authority, we downwardly adjust the proposed forfeiture amount
to $5,000. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80, and
the statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude that Tropicana
is apparently liable for a $5,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311,
0.314 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Tropicana Products Inc. is
hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the
amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for violations of Section
301 of the Act.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules within thirty days of the release date of this
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Tropicana Products Inc.
SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a
written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
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/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. Tropicana Products Inc. must
send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
11. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Western Region, Los Angeles Office,
18000 Studebaker Road, Suite 660, Cerritos, CA 90703 and must include
the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption. An electronic copy shall
be sent to WR-Response@fcc.gov.
12. 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.
13. 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 Tropicana Products Inc.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Los Angeles District Office
47 U.S.C. S: 301.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
As of the date of this NAL, review of the Commission's databases shows no
license application on file by Tropicana for this frequency in this
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 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).
Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(2), which also applies
to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 503(b) of
the Act, provides that "[t]he term 'repeated', when used with reference to
the commission or omission of any act, means the commission or omission of
such act more than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous,
for more than one day."
47 U.S.C. S: 301.
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
Miller Breweries East, 23 FCC Rcd 127, 129 - 130 (EB 2008).
47 U.S.C. S:S: 301, 503(b), 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80.
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission