Recidivist FM bandit walks the FCC plank


Broadcasting Pirate
Whisler Fleurinor of Fort Lauderdale FL was able to get a $20K FM piracy fine reduced to a mere $500 on the poverty plea, but his return to the airwaves without authorization has been met with an even larger penalty and no real chance of a discount.

Fleurinor’s history of piracy goes back at least to 2008, stated the FCC. In 2010, he was hit with a notice of apparent liability for his illegal use of 99.5 MHz amounting to $20K, an amount which was double the base fine because he had been warned to cease his illegal broadcasts.

However, Fleurinor claimed he was unable to pay the fine and the FCC agreed, taking the fine all the way down to $500.

Then, between August and December 2011 FCC agents traced a 99.5 MHz signal to a commercial property belonging to Fleurinor which was also the source of the earlier broadcasts.

This time, the FCC has taken the base $10K penalty and upped it to $25K.

The FCC noted that Fleurinor was fully aware that what he was doing was illegal and added, “Moreover, Mr. Fleurinor’s further violations of the Act after being issued a Forfeiture Order (that substantially reduced a $20,000 proposed forfeiture in the First NAL to $500 based solely on consideration of his inability to pay claim) convinces us that the previous $500 forfeiture imposed (which he has paid) was not a sufficient deterrent.  There simply is nothing on the record in this case, including the documents that Mr. Fleurinor submitted in support of his inability to pay claim, that warrants any leniency or mitigation of the proposed forfeiture amount. Therefore, after consideration of the entire record and the factors listed above, we find that a forfeiture in the amount of $25,000 is warranted.”