FM piracy for buccaneers on a budget


Broadcasting Pirate
Two radio bandits were caught operating in the New York City area. One confessed to his malfeasance; the other claimed to merely be an employee of station. Both were hit with FCC fines, and both tried to get out of paying them.

Recardo Millwood, operating on 88.9 MHz in the Bronx, not only admitted to wrongdoing, he also apologized. His unauthorized operation was egregious enough to earn double the standard fine of $10K – he was ordered to forfeit $20K in other words – and he asked that the fine be canceled for no other reason than his inability to pay it.

The FCC looked at financial documents he sent with his request, and although it would not let him entirely off the hook, it did reduce his penalty to $4K.

Bernabe Moreno was either the owner of or attached to a station operating in Passaic NJ on 102.3 MHz. He admitted he was the owner and operator to investigating agents, but later claimed he was not in fact the owner, just an employee of the station, and had never been informed by the actual owner that the station was unlicensed.

He requested cancellation of a $10K fine on grounds of his innocence, and also on grounds that he was unable to pay.

The FCC would not let him off the hook – it said the mere fact that he was operating the station was enough to stick him with the fine, whether he owned it or not.

However, he also submitted financial documents, and on their basis, the FCC reduced his liability to $1K.