The FCC has thrown the book and taken aim at the wallet of Miami FM pirate Gary M. Feldman. Not only did he simply move his unauthorized station to a new venue after being apprehended by FCC agents, he also had an unpaid prior violation on his record.
Feldman was operating on out of his home on 97.7 MHz with FCC agents caught up with him 5/16/12. Those same agents had been clued into the station’s relationship with website hot977fmmiami.com by listening to the station’s illegal programming stream.
He was warned and ordered to cease operations. But on 6/13/12, agents traced broadcasts on the same frequency to a commercial building, again heard the same website mentioned on air.
Upon checking into Feldman’s background, it was discovered that he had been issued a $10K fine by FCC agents out of the agency’s Tampa office in 2004. The fine was not paid, was turned over to the courts for collection action and remains unpaid.
Above and beyond the older infraction, Feldman was hit with an upward adjustment to the $10K standard fine for operating an unauthorized facility. Given his prior 2004 offense and his immediate resumption of unauthorized broadcasting in the current case, the FCC hit him with a new $25K fine.
The FCC notes that the new $25K levy does not include the earlier uncollected $10K, which remains pending as well.
RBR-TVBR observation: Memo to lawbreakers: It is best to resist the urge to trumpet your illegal activities at all, much less dedicate a website to them. For example, we have been known on occasion to exceed the speed limit. But we don’t send out emails to the local constabulary alerting them to the fact that we will be driving through their jurisdiction at a velocity they may find disconcerting.