FM piracy on a budget


Broadcasting PirateA spectrum buccaneer was caught plying the waters of 92.7 MHz in the pirate-infested airwaves of the Miami FL, and the apprehended target of an FCC investigation into the matter admitted his guilt. But he had a request about the resultant penalty.

The pirate of record is Michael Gregory, who was using a rented commercial suite to house his operation. FCC agents tracked the unlicensed 92.7 broadcast to the site 3/7/12 and again 4/27/12. On the latter occasion, Gregory admitted to being the source of the broadcast.

The result – the standard notice of apparent liability for $10K.

Gregory, despite essentially pleading guilty, nevertheless asked for reduction or cancellation of the fine based on inability to pay. He did something some who make that request fail to do – he submitted pertinent financial documentation acceptable to the FCC, and as a result, the FCC knocked the fine all the way down to $750.

The FCC also warned Gregory not to expect similar treatment should he be caught committing the same offense. “We have previously rejected inability to pay claims in cases of repeated or otherwise egregious violations,” wrote the FCC. “Therefore, future violations of this kind may result in significantly higher forfeitures that may not be reduced due to Mr. Gregory’s financial circumstances.”