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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
File No. EB-07-TC-1751
In the Matter of )
NAL/Acct. No. 200832170048
Secured Finance & Investments, Inc. )
Adopted: February 12, 2009 Released: February 13, 2009
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of $4,500 against Secured Finance & Investments, Inc. ("Secured
Finance") for willful or repeated violations of section 227 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), and the Commission's
related rules and orders, by delivering at least one unsolicited
advertisement to the telephone facsimile machine of at least one consumer.
2. The facts and circumstances surrounding this case are set forth in the
Commission's Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and need not be
reiterated at length.
3. 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
4. On June 26, 2007, in response to one or more consumer complaints
alleging that Secured Finance had faxed unsolicited advertisements, the
Enforcement Bureau ("Bureau") issued a citation to Secured Finance,
pursuant to section 503(b)(5) of the Act. The Bureau cited Secured Finance
for using a telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device, to
send unsolicited advertisements for financial services, in violation of
section 227 of the Act and the Commission's related rules and orders. The
citation warned Secured Finance 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 Secured Finance 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.
Secured Finance did not request an interview or otherwise respond to the
5. Following the issuance of the citation, the Commission received at
least one complaint from a consumer alleging that Secured Finance faxed at
least one unsolicited advertisement to that consumer. These violations,
which occurred after the Bureau's citation, resulted in the issuance of a
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against Secured Finance on
June 10, 2008 in the amount of $4,500. The NAL ordered Secured Finance to
either pay the proposed forfeiture amount within thirty (30) days or
submit evidence or arguments in response to the NAL to show that no
forfeiture should be imposed or that some lesser amount should be
assessed. Secured Finance did not respond to the NAL or pay the proposed
6. Section 503(b) of the Act authorizes the Commission to assess a
forfeiture 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. The
maximum penalty for such a violation is $11,000 for a violation occurring
before September 2, 2008, and $16,000 for a violation occurring on or
after September 2, 2008. 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
7. 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 apparent violation.
8. Secured Finance did not respond to the NAL or pay the proposed
forfeiture amount. Secured Finance has failed to identify facts or
circumstances to persuade us that there is a basis for modifying the
proposed forfeiture, and we are not aware of any further mitigating
circumstances sufficient to warrant a reduction of the forfeiture penalty.
For these reasons, and based on the information before us, we hereby
impose a total forfeiture of $4,500 for Secured Finance willful or
repeated violation of section 227 of the Act and the Commission's related
rules and orders, as set forth in the NAL.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b), and section
1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.
S: 1.80(f)(4), and under authority delegated by sections 0.111, 0.311 of
the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, that Secured Finance
& Investments, Inc. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE to the United
States Government the sum of $4,500 for willfully and repeatedly violating
section 227(b)(1)(c) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 227(b)(1)(c),
section 64.1200(a)(3) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. S:
64.1200(a)(3), and the related orders as described in the paragraphs
10. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in
section 1.80 of the Commission's rules within thirty (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. 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). Secured Finance &
Investments, 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
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of the Forfeiture Order shall be
sent by First Class mail and certified mail return receipt requested to
Secured Finance & Investments, Inc., 575 Anton Blvd., Suite 700, Costa
Mesa, CA 92626 and P.O. Box 11943, Newport Beach, CA 92658, Attention: Ria
Sherl Noory, Frishta A. Noory, Angela Noory, and Waheed Noory; and 18101
Von Karman, Irvine, CA 92612.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kris Anne Monteith
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
47 U.S.C. S: 227.
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).
See Secured Finance & Investments, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability, DA
08-1376 (Enf. Bur. June 10, 2008).
47 U.S.C. S: 227(b)(1)(C); 47 C.F.R. S: 64.1200(a)(3).
See 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." See 47
U.S.C. S: 227(a)(2); see also 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-1751, issued to
Secured Finance on June 26, 2007.
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 address: Secured Finance
& Investments, Inc.,
575 Anton Blvd., Suite 700, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.
See n.2 supra; see also 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(1).
Section 503(b)(2)(C) provides for forfeitures of 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)
first to $11,000 and more recently to $16,000. 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)(forfeiture
maximum for this type of violator set at $11,000); 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, 23 FCC Rcd 9845
(2008) (amendment of section 1.80(b) to reflect inflation increased the
forfeiture maximum for this type of violator to $16,000).
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(D); see also 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
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).
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
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Federal Communications Commission DA 09-233
Federal Communications Commission DA 09-233