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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File No. EB- 07-TC-063
First Alliance Security ) NAL/Acct. No. 200832170053
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ) FRN: 0017851361
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: June 10, 2008 Released: June 11, 2008
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that First Alliance Security ("First Alliance") apparently willfully
or repeatedly violated section 227 of the Communications Act of 1934,
as amended ("Act"), and the Commission's related rules and orders, by
delivering at least three unsolicited advertisements to the telephone
facsimile machines of at least three consumers. Based on the facts and
circumstances surrounding these apparent violations, we find that
First Alliance is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of
2. Section 227(b)(1)(C) of the Act makes it "unlawful for any person
within the United States, or any person outside the United States if
the recipient is within the United States . . . to use any telephone
facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send, to a telephone
facsimile machine, an unsolicited advertisement." The term
"unsolicited advertisement" is defined in the Act and the Commission's
rules as "any material advertising the commercial availability or
quality of any property, goods, or services which is transmitted to
any person without that person's prior express invitation or
permission in writing or otherwise." Under the Commission's rules, an
"established business relationship" exception permits a party to
deliver a message to a consumer if the sender has an established
business relationship with the recipient and the sender obtained the
number of the facsimile machine through the voluntary communication by
the recipient, directly to the sender, within the context of the
established business relationship, or through a directory,
advertisement, or a site on the Internet to which the recipient
voluntarily agreed to make available its facsimile number for public
3. On February 12, 2007, in response to one or more consumer complaints
alleging that First Alliance had faxed unsolicited advertisements, the
Enforcement Bureau ("Bureau") issued a citation to First Alliance,
pursuant to section 503(b)(5) of the Act. The Bureau cited First
Alliance for using a telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other
device, to send unsolicited advertisements for home security products
to telephone facsimile machines, in violation of section 227 of the
Act and the Commission's related rules and orders. The citation, which
was served by certified mail, return receipt requested, warned First
Alliance that subsequent violations could result in the imposition of
monetary forfeitures of up to $11,000 per violation, and included a
copy of the consumer complaints that formed the basis of the citation.
The citation informed First Alliance that within 30 days of the date
of the citation, it could either request an interview with Commission
staff, or could provide a written statement responding to the
citation. First Alliance did not request an interview or otherwise
respond to the citation.
4. Despite the citation's warning that subsequent violations could result
in the imposition of monetary forfeitures, we have received three
additional consumer complaints indicating that First Alliance
continued to engage in such conduct. We base our action here
specifically on complaints filed by three consumers establishing that
First Alliance continued to send three unsolicited advertisements to
telephone facsimile machines after the date of the citation.
5. Section 503(b) of the Act authorizes the Commission to assess a
forfeiture of up to $11,000 for each violation of the Act or of any
rule, regulation, or order issued by the Commission under the Act by a
non-common carrier or other entity not specifically designated in
section 503 of the Act. In exercising such authority, we are to 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."
A. Violations of the Commission's Rules Restricting Unsolicited Facsimile
6. We find that First Alliance apparently violated section 227 of the Act
and the Commission's related rules and orders by using a telephone
facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send at least three
unsolicited advertisements to the three consumers identified in the
Appendix. This NAL is based on evidence that three consumers received
unsolicited fax advertisements from First Alliance after the Bureau's
citation. The facsimile transmissions advertise home security systems.
Further, according to the complaints, the consumers neither had an
established business relationship with First Alliance nor gave First
Alliance permission to send the facsimile transmissions. The faxes at
issue here therefore fall within the definition of an "unsolicited
advertisement." Based on the entire record, including the consumer
complaints, we conclude that First Alliance apparently violated
section 227 of the Act and the Commission's related rules and orders
by sending six unsolicited advertisements to five consumers' facsimile
B. Proposed Forfeiture
7. We find that First Alliance is apparently liable for a forfeiture in
the amount of $13,500. Although the Commission's Forfeiture Policy
Statement does not establish a base forfeiture amount for violating
the prohibition against using a telephone facsimile machine to send
unsolicited advertisements, the Commission has previously considered
$4,500 per unsolicited fax advertisement to be an appropriate base
amount. We apply that base amount to each of three apparent
violations. Thus, a total forfeiture of $13,500 is proposed. First
Alliance will have the opportunity to submit evidence and arguments in
response to this NAL to show that no forfeiture should be imposed or
that some lesser amount should be assessed.
IV. CONCLUSION AND ORDERING CLAUSES
8. We have determined that First Alliance Security apparently violated
section 227 of the Act and the Commission's related rules and orders
by using a telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to
send at least three unsolicited advertisements to the three consumers
identified in the Appendix. We have further determined that First
Alliance Security is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to section 503(b) of the Act, 47
U.S.C. S: 503(b), and section 1.80 of the rules, 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80,
and under the authority delegated by sections 0.111 and 0.311 of the
Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, that First Alliance
Security is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE in the amount of $13,500 for willful or repeated violations
of section 227(b)(1)(C) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. S:
227(b)(1)(C), sections 64.1200(a)(3) of the Commission's rules, 47
C.F.R. S: 64.1200(a)(3), and the related orders described in the
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, First Alliance
Security SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL
FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
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/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). SOS Marketing will also send
electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
Johnny.email@example.com. 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.
12. The response, if any, must be mailed both to the Office of the
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW,
Washington, DC 20554, ATTN: Enforcement Bureau - Telecommunications
Consumers Division, and to Colleen Heitkamp, Chief, Telecommunications
Consumers Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications
Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554, 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; 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
14. 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 First Alliance Security, Attention:
Anthony Price, Owner, 10808 Foothill Boulevard, No. 236, Rancho
Cucamonga, CA 91730 and 8139 Whirlaway St., Rancho Cucamonga, CA
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kris Anne Monteith
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
Complainants and Violation Dates
Complainant sent facsimile solicitations Violation Date(s)
Kathleen Freeman 6/14/2007
Diane Valle 6/21/2007
Gwyn Reed 6/15/2007
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(1). The Commission has the authority under this
section of the Act to assess a forfeiture against any person who has
"willfully or repeatedly failed to comply with any of the provisions of
this Act or of any rule, regulation, or order issued by the Commission
under this Act ...." See also 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(5) (stating that the
Commission has the authority under this section of the Act to assess a
forfeiture penalty against any person who does not hold a license, permit,
certificate or other authorization issued by the Commission or an
applicant for any of those listed instrumentalities so long as such person
(A) is first issued a citation of the violation charged; (B) is given a
reasonable opportunity for a personal interview with an official of the
Commission, at the field office of the Commission nearest to the person's
place of residence; and (C) subsequently engages in conduct of the type
described in the citation).
According to publicly available information, First Alliance has an office
at 8139 Whirlaway St., Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701 and a post office box at
10808 Foothill Blvd., No. 236, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730. Anthony Price,
owner, is listed as the contact person for First Alliance. Accordingly,
all references in this NAL to "First Alliance" also encompass the
foregoing individual and all other principals and officers of this entity,
as well as the corporate entity itself.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 227(b)(1)(C); 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(a)(3); see also
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
of 1991, Report and Order and Third Order on Reconsideration, 21 FCC Rcd
47 U.S.C. S: 227(b)(1)(C); 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(a)(3).
47 U.S.C. S: 227(a)(4); 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(f)(13).
An "established business relationship" is defined as a prior or existing
relationship formed by a voluntary two-way communication "with or without
an exchange of consideration, on the basis of an inquiry, application,
purchase or transaction by the business or residential subscriber
regarding products or services offered by such person or entity, which
relationship has not been previously terminated by either party." 47
C.F.R. S: 64.1200(f)(5).
See 47 U.S.C. S: 227(b)(1)(C); 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(a)(3)(i), (ii).
Citation from Kurt A. Schroeder, Deputy Chief, Telecommunications
Consumers Division, Enforcement Bureau, File No. EB-07-TC-063, issued to
First Alliance on February 12, 2007.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(5) and n. 1, supra..
Commission staff mailed the citation to Anthony Price, Owner, First
Alliance Security, 154-A West Foothill Blvd., No. 236, Upland, CA
91786-8702. See n.2, supra.
See Appendix for a listing of the consumer complaints against First
Alliance requesting Commission action.
We note that evidence of additional instances of unlawful conduct by First
Alliance may form the basis of subsequent enforcement action.
Section 503(b)(2)(C) provides for forfeitures up to $10,000 for each
violation in cases not covered by subparagraph (A) or (B), which address
forfeitures for violations by licensees and common carriers, among others.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b). In accordance with the inflation adjustment
requirements contained in the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996,
Pub. L. 104-134, Sec. 31001, 110 Stat. 1321, the Commission implemented an
increase of the maximum statutory forfeiture under section 503(b)(2)(C) to
$11,000. See 47 C.F.R. S:1.80(b)(3); Amendment of Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules and Adjustment of Forfeiture Maxima to Reflect
Inflation, 15 FCC Rcd 18221 (2000); see also Amendment of Section 1.80(b)
of the Commission's Rules and Adjustment of Forfeiture Maxima to Reflect
Inflation, 19 FCC Rcd 10945 (2004) (this recent amendment of section
1.80(b) to reflect inflation left the forfeiture maximum for this type of
violator at $11,000).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(D); 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, 17100-01 para. 27 (1997)
(Forfeiture Policy Statement), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
See, e.g., complaint dated June 15, 2007, from Gwyn Reed, (stating that
she has never done any business with the fax advertiser, never made an
inquiry or application to the fax advertiser, and never gave permission
for the company to send the fax). The complainants involved in this action
are listed in the Appendix.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 227(a)(4); 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(f)(13) (definition
previously at S: 64.1200(f)(10)).
See Get-Aways, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability For Forfeiture, 15 FCC
Rcd 1805 (1999); Get-Aways, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 15 FCC Rcd 4843
(2000); see also US Notary, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, 15 Rcd 16999 (2000); US Notary, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 16 FCC
Rcd 18398 (2001); Tri-Star Marketing, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability
For Forfeiture, 15 FCC Rcd 11295 (2000); Tri-Star Marketing, Inc.,
Forfeiture Order, 15 FCC Rcd 23198 (2000).
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(4)(C); 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(f)(3).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-1385
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-1385