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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File No. EB-06-TC-2228
Amerilist, Inc. ) NAL/Acct No. 200832170060
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ) FRN: 0017577867
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: July 21, 2008 Released: July 22, 2008
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that Amerilist, Inc. ("Amerilist") 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 four unsolicited advertisements to the telephone facsimile
machines of at least four consumers. Based on the facts and
circumstances surrounding these apparent violations, we find that
Amerilist 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 November 30, 2006, in response to one or more consumer complaints
alleging that Amerilist had faxed unsolicited advertisements, the
Enforcement Bureau ("Bureau") issued a citation to Amerilist, pursuant
to section 503(b)(5) of the Act. The Bureau cited Amerilist for using
a telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device, to send
unsolicited advertisements for customer lists to a telephone facsimile
machine, in violation of section 227 of the Act and the Commission's
related rules and orders. The citation warned Amerilist 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 Amerilist that within thirty (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. Amerilist 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 additional
consumer complaints indicating that Amerilist continued to engage in
such conduct after issuance of the citation. We base our action here
specifically on four complaints filed by four consumers establishing
that Amerilist continued to send four 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 Amerilist 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 four
unsolicited advertisements to the consumers identified in the
Appendix. This NAL is based on evidence that the consumers received
unsolicited fax advertisements from Amerilist after the Commission's
citation. The facsimile transmissions advertised customer lists.
Further, according to the complaints, the consumers neither had an
established business relationship with Amerilist nor gave Amerilist
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 Amerilist apparently violated section 227
of the Act and the Commission's related rules and orders by sending
four unsolicited advertisements to four consumers' facsimile machines.
B. Proposed Forfeiture
7. We find that Amerilist is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the
amount of $18,000. 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 the four apparent violations.
Thus, a total forfeiture of $18,000 is proposed. Amerilist 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 Amerilist, Inc. 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 four unsolicited advertisements to the four consumers identified
in the Appendix. We have further determined that Amerilist, Inc. is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $18,000.
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 Amerilist, Inc.
is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the
amount of $18,000 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 paragraphs
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, Amerilist, Inc.
SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a
written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
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).
Amerilist, Inc. will also send electronic notification on the date said
payment is made to Johnny.firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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 documentation submitted.
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 First Class Mail to Amerilist, Inc., Attention: Ravi Buckredan, 978
Route 45, Pomona, NY 10970 and 62 Richard Court, Pomona, NY 10970.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kris Anne Monteith
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
Complainants and Violation Dates
Complainant received facsimile solicitations Violation Date(s)
Richard Bornoff 9/4/07
James Dallas 10/3/07
Michelle Lewis 8/15/07
Joseph Zelik 10/12/07
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).
Amerilist has offices at 978 Route 45, Pomona, NY 10970 and 62 Richard
Court, Pomona, NY 10970. Ravi Buckredan is listed as the President of
Amerilist. Accordingly, all references in this NAL to "Amerilist" 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(a)(3)(i), (ii).
Citation from Kurt A. Schroeder, Deputy Chief, Telecommunications
Consumers Division, Enforcement Bureau, File No.EB-06-TC-2228, issued to
Amerilist on November 30, 2006.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(5) (authorizing the Commission to issue citations
to persons who do not hold a license, permit, certificate or other
authorization issued by the Commission or an applicant for any of those
listed instrumentalities for violations of the Act or of the Commission's
rules and orders).
Bureau staff mailed the citation to the following addresses: Amerilist,
Inc., 978 Route 45, Pomona, NY 10970 and 749 North Broad Street, Suite
101, Elizabeth, NJ 07208. See n.2, supra.
Following the issuance of the citation, the Commission received a
complaint from a consumer alleging that Amerilist faxed an unsolicited
advertisement to them. This violation, occurring after the Commission's
citation, resulted in the issuance of a Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture against Amerilist on March 25, 2008, in the amount of $4,500.
Amerilist, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, DA 08-669
(Enf. Bur. March 25, 2008). Ravi Buckredan, President of Amerilist,
responded to the NAL on April 16, 2008. Letter from Ravi Buckredan to
Office of the Secretary, FCC, received April 21, 2008.
See Appendix for a listing of the consumer complaints against Amerilist
requesting Commission action.
We note that evidence of additional instances of unlawful conduct by
Amerilist 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) (amendment of section 1.80(b) to
reflect inflation left the forfeiture maximum for this type of violator at
$11,000); Amendment of Section 1.80(b) of the Commission's Rules,
Adjustment of Forfeiture Maxima to Reflect Inflation, FCC 08-154, rel.
June 13, 2008 (when effective, forfeiture maximum for this type of
violator increased to $16,000).
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 August 15, 2007, from Michelle Lewis (stating
that she has never done business with the fax advertiser, never made an
inquiry or application to the fax advertiser and never given permission
for the fax advertiser to fax an advertisement to her). 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.
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Federal Communications Commission DA 08-1708
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-1708