An alleged spectrum buccaneer working the airwaves in the Fort Myers-Naples-Marco Island market has not admitted any guilt in the face of FCC charges that he was in fact operating on 95.7 MHz. The FCC actually agreed to end its pursuit of the alleged pirate and agreed to put the matter to bed via the consent decree route.
The Fort Myers pirate is Alex Alcime. FCC agents tracked the 95.7 MHJz facility to Alcime’s residence on 5/26/10 and 5/27/10, and on 6/3/10, they actually inspected the station.
Alcime maintained that he was merely a disc jockey at the station.
The Enforcement Bureau may have had a special motivation to cease pursuing the matter, stating, “The Bureau was subsequently alerted to Mr. Alcime’s financial circumstances indicating an inability to pay the proposed find.”
So Alcime is off the hook. He is subject to a compliance plan, and will make a voluntary contribution to the US Treasury of $350.
The standard penalty for an individual found guilty of running an unauthorized station is $10K, so Alcime’s benefit from accepting these terms works out to $9,650.
RBR-TVBR observation: We’ve seen consent decrees used to resolve a number of issues, usually involving rules and regulations with gray areas that may be subject to both misunderstanding and interpretation. We never thought we’d see one in the case of a pirate radio station tracked to the home of the accused. And while we are sure we still haven’t seen everything, we can at least check one of the things we hadn’t seen off the list.
We understand that Alcime’s financial status played a role in using a consent decree. If the FCC wished to pursue the matter, we would have expected instead the old tried-and-true forfeiture notice, with the financial penalty waived due to the accused’s inability to pay, but with a stern admonition going onto his permanent record.