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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                 )
Michael S. Selvanto              )    File Number EB-02-NY-288
9 Caldwell Place                 )
Elizabeth, New Jersey            )    NAL/Acct. No. 200332380017
                                )    FRN 0008-1141-75

                        FORFEITURE ORDER

   Adopted: August 6, 2004               Released: August 10, 

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:


     1.   In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
monetary  forfeiture  in  the  amount  of  ten  thousand  dollars 
($10,000) to  Mr.  Michael  S. Selvanto  (``Mr.  Selvanto'')  for 
willful violation of  Section 301  of the  Communications Act  of 
1934, as amended  (``Act'').1  The noted  violation involves  Mr. 
Selvanto's  operation  of  a  radio  station  without  Commission 

     2.   On February 18,  2003, the Commission's  New York,  New 
York Field  Office  (``New  York Office'')  issued  a  Notice  of 
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to Mr. Selvanto for a 
forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).2  Mr. 
Selvanto responded on April 7, 2003, to the NAL.


     3.   On November  26, 2002,  in  response to  complaints  of 
November 19 and  26, 2002  regarding an  unlicensed FM  broadcast 
station on 91.9  MHz in  Elizabeth, New Jersey,  agents from  the 
Commission's New  York  Office  observed  unauthorized  FM  radio 
broadcasts in Elizabeth, New Jersey'' on the frequency 91.9  MHz.  
Using  electronic  direction   finding  techniques,  the   agents 
positively identified  the  source  of  transmissions  to  be  an 
antenna mounted on the roof of  a building located at 9  Caldwell 
Place, in Elizabeth, New  Jersey.  The agents determined  through 
field strength measurements that the station's field strength was 
11,362 times greater  than the permissible  level for  unlicensed 
low power FM operation.3  Thus,  this station required a  license 
to operate.  Commission records showed no authorization for  this 
operation in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

     4.   Also  on  November  26,  2002,  the  agents,  with  Mr. 
Selvanto's permission and  in his presence,  inspected the  radio 
studio  and  found  a  500  watt  FM  broadcast  transmitter   in 
operation.  Mr. Selvanto admitted he was the person operating the 
station.  During the investigation, one of the agents issued  and 
hand delivered  a Warning  of Unlicensed  Radio Operation  letter  
(``Warning Letter''), to Mr. Selvanto.  

     5.   On November  27,  2002, the  New  York Office  sent  an 
identical Warning  Letter,  by  First Class  and  Certified  Mail 
Return  Receipt  Requested,  to   Mr.  Selvanto  for   unlicensed 
operation on the frequency 91.9 MHz.  The letter was addressed to 
Mr. Selvanto's  business, The  CFM Entertainment  Center, at  its 
business address, 9 Caldwell Place, Elizabeth, New Jersey, 07201.  
The Certified Mail Return  Receipt Requested letter was  returned 
to the  Commission  unclaimed, the  First  Class letter  was  not 

     6.   On February 18, 2003, the New York Office issued an NAL 
for a $10,000 forfeiture to Mr. Michael S. Selvanto for operating 
a radio  station  without  Commission  authorization  in  willful 
violation of  Section 301  of the  Act.  In  his April  7,  2003, 
response, Mr.  Selvanto  does  not  dispute  the  violation,  but 
requests the Commission take into  account the equity factors  in 
his operation  such as  he  was unaware  his operation  was  over 
power,  the operation was not for personal monetary gain, but for 
the community  churches and  businesses,  he never  received  the 
November 27, 2002 Warning Letter  and  immediately shut down  the 
operation upon notice of violation, and his inability to pay.  He 
submitted no documentation substantiating an inability to pay.


     7.   The  proposed  forfeiture  amount  in  this  case   was 
assessed in accordance with Section  503(b) of the Act,4 and  The 
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 
1.80 of the  Rules to Incorporate  the Forfeiture Guidelines,  12 
FCC Red  17087  (1997), recon.  denied,  15 FCC  Red  303  (1999) 
``Policy Statement'').   In  examining Mr.  Selvanto's  response, 
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.5 

     8.   Section  301  of  the  Act  prohibits  radio  operation 
``except under and in accordance with this Act and with a license 
in that  behalf  granted under  the  provisions of  this  Act.''6  
Section  15.239  of   the  Commission   Rules7  permits   certain 
unlicensed  low  powered  radio  operation,  but  Mr.  Selvanto's 
operation  greatly   exceeded  the   permissible  power   levels.  
Accordingly, a license  was needed for  the station's  operation.  
Based on Mr. Selvanto's  admissions and the agents'  observations 
during the inspection,  we conclude that  Mr. Selvanto  willfully 
violated Section 301 of the Act.8  

     9.   Mr.   Selvanto    requests   that   we   consider   the 
circumstances of the violation.    In his response, Mr.  Selvanto 
does  not  dispute  the  violation,  but  in  mitigation  of  the 
forfeiture he  claims he  was unaware  that he  was  transmitting 
higher than the  allowable power.  We  reject his argument.   Mr. 
Selvanto was operating  with power in  excess of that  authorized 
for low power.  Accordingly,  a license was required.   Ignorance 
of the rules  is no excuse.9   He knew his  equipment, its  power 
level and he  chose to  operate with it  at that  power level  in 
willful violation of Section 301 of the Act.

     10.  Next, Mr. Selvanto states that he intended to operate a 
low power  radio  station  for the  benefit  of  local  community 
churches and businesses and not for personal monetary gain.   The 
fact  that   the  station  may  perform  useful  service  in  the 
community does  not  mitigate  his  violation.10   Moreover,  Mr. 
Selvanto could have  performed his public  service under the  low 
power unlicensed transmissions  authorized by  Section 15.239  of 
the Rules, but  he chose  not to  do so.   Further, Mr.  Selvanto 
claims he did not  receive the November  27, 2002 Warning  Letter 
and that he shut  down immediately after  being inspected by  the 
agents. The fact that he may  not have received the November  27, 
2002 Warning  Letter  is  immaterial.  He  was  informed  of  the 
violation by the agent and he  was hand served with an  identical 
Warning  Letter  during   the  November   26,  2002   inspection.  
Additionally, it is well established that there is no  obligation 
on the Commission staff to issue a letter prior to issuance of an 
NAL.11  As  to his  immediately  shutting down  the  unauthorized 
transmissions  following  notification  of  the  violation,   the 
Commission has repeatedly stated  that remedial actions taken  to 
correct a violation are expected  and as such are not  mitigating 
factors warranting reduction of a forfeiture.12  

     11.  Mr. Selvanto's  request for  waiver of  the  forfeiture 
based on his  inability to  pay was  not accompanied  by his  tax 
returns from 1999 through 2001, or any other documentation as set 
forth in paragraph 12  of the NAL.13  Any  claim of inability  to 
pay must  specifically  identify  the  basis  for  the  claim  by 
reference to the financial documentation submitted.  Accordingly, 
there is no  basis to  cancel or reduce  the assessed  forfeiture 
amount due to a demonstrated inability to pay.  

     12.  After careful  and  complete  review  of  all  relevant 
factors, based on the above cited circumstances, we conclude that 
Mr. Selvanto willfully violated Section  301 of the Act and  find 
no basis for mitigation.


     13.  Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
503(b) of the Act,  and Sections 0.111,  0.311 and 1.80(f)(4)  of 
the Rules,14 Mr.  Michael S.  Selvanto IS LIABLE  FOR A  MONETARY 
FORFEITURE in the  amount of ten  thousand dollars ($10,000)  for 
willful violation of  Section 301 of the Act.

     14.  Payment of the forfeiture shall  be made in the  manner 
provided for in Section 1.80 of  the Rules within 30 days of  the 
release of this Order.  If the forfeiture is not paid within  the 
period specified, the case may  be referred to the Department  of 
Justice for collection pursuant to  Section 504(a) of the  Act.15  
Payment may be  made by  mailing a check  or similar  instrument, 
payable  to   the   order   of   the   ``Federal   Communications 
Commission,'' to the Federal Communications Commission, P.O.  Box 
73482, Chicago, Illinois  60673-7482.  The  payment must  include 
the  FCC  Registration  Number  (FRN)  and  the   NAL/Acct.   No. 
referenced in the  caption.  Requests for  full payment under  an 
installment  plan  should   be  sent  to:   Chief,  Revenue   and 
Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W.,  Washington, 
D.C. 20554.

     15.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
be sent by  first class  mail and certified  mail return  receipt 
requested  to  Mr.  Michael   S.  Selvanto,  9  Caldwell   Place, 
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07201. 


                         David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau


1 47 U.S.C.  301.
2 Notice  of Apparent  Liability  for Forfeiture,  NAL/Acct.  No. 
200332380017 (Enf. Bur., New  York Office, released February  18, 
3 Under Section  15.239 of  the Commission's Rules,  47 C.F.R.   
15.239, the use of an intentional radiator in the 88-108 MHz band 
is permitted only if the field strength of the transmissions does 
not exceed 250 microvolts/meter at three meters. 
4 47 U.S.C.  503(b).
5 47 U.S.C.  503(B)(2)(D).
6 47 U.S.C.  301.
7 47. C.F.R.  15.239
8 Section  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,' 
... 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).
9 Southern California  Broadcasting Co.,  6 FCC  Rcd 4387  (1991) 
(ignorance of the  law is not  a mitigating circumstance)  citing 
Vernon Broadcasting, Inc., 60  RR 2d 1275,  1277 (19866) and  Fay 
Neel Eggleston, 19 FCC 2d 829 (1969)..
10 MRJ, Inc., DA-04-1298, (Enf. Bur. released May 12, 2004).
11 See  AT&T Wireless  Services, Inc.,  17 FCC  Rcd 7891  (2002); 
Missouri RSA No.2 Partnership D.B.A. ALLTEL, 18 FCC Rcd 12653  at 
12654 (Enf. Bur. 2003);  and ARACELIS ORTIZ, 19  FCC Rcd 2632  at 
2636 (Enf. Bur. 2004)
12 See, e.g., AT&T  Wireless Services, Inc.,  17 FCC Rcd.  21866, 
21871 (2002);  Seawest  Yacht Brokers,  9  FCC Rcd  6099  (1994); 
Station KGVL, Inc.42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973).
13 Mr. Selvanto  was instructed  in  12  of his  NAL that  ``The 
Commission will not consider  reducing or canceling a  forfeiture 
in response to a claim of  inability to pay unless [he]  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 [his]  current 
financial status....''
14 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
15 47 U.S.C.  504(a).