This tale involves broadcast spectrum a bit to the north of the highest-slotted FM station, all the way up to 156.800 MHz, which is Coast Guard territory. Broadcasts made on that frequency were sending out distress signals, which turned out to not only be false, but emanating from dry ground – from a trailer park in Largo FL, to be precise. The illegal unlicensed broadcasts and abuse of Coast Guard assets moved the FCC to issue fines to the tune of $18K. The target of the fines, in this case, is known as John Doe – not because authorities were unable to determine the identity of the perp, but because the perp was only 16 years old. He admitted to stealing maritime broadcast equipment and making the broadcasts, and expressed “sincere remorse.” His age is not, however, the reason the FCC let him off the hook for the fine – it was his lack of a job, hence lack of income, combined with the fact that he had been detained and held in custody by the state of Florida.
RBR/TVBR observation: So there you have it. If you want to duck an FCC fine, it helps to not have a job and to be incarcerated. And being a remorseful sweet 16 probably helps, too. However, we suspect that few quality broadcasters will be able to scrape together enough of these resume elements to make a convincing case to the stern administrators at FCC headquarters at the Portals in Southwest Washington DC.