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FCC Fines Former Radio Amateur for Unlicensed Operation on 20 Meters

10/24/2013

The FCC has fined Jared A. Bruegman, ex-KCØIQN, of Bolivar, Missouri, $500 for transmitting on 14.312 MHz without a license. Last February, the FCC told Bruegman in a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) that it intended to impose a $10,000 fine, but in a Forfeiture Order released October 23, the FCC reduced the fine.

“Based on the financial documents provided by Mr. Bruegman,” the FCC said in its Forfeiture Order, “we find that there is a sufficient basis to reduce (but not cancel) the forfeiture to $500.” Responding to the earlier NAL, Bruegman had claimed the $10,000 forfeiture would “bankrupt” him, and he requested the FCC cancel the sanction altogether.

The FCC cautioned Bruegman that inability to pay is only one factor in its forfeiture calculations. “In this regard, we have previously rejected inability to pay claims in cases of repeated or otherwise egregious violations,” the Commission said. “Therefore, future violations of this kind may result in significantly higher forfeitures that may not be reduced due to Mr. Bruegman’s financial circumstances.”

The FCC said it affirmed the finding outlined in the earlier NAL that Bruegman had violated Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934. FCC agents in December 2012 observed an unlicensed radio transmitter operating on 14.312 MHz from a residence in Bolivar. Bruegman, the only person at home at the time, admitted to owning the radio transmitting equipment. “Based on the record evidence, which Mr. Bruegman does not dispute, we conclude that Mr. Bruegman willfully violated Section 301 of the Act by operating radio transmission equipment without the required Commission authorization,” the FCC concluded.

He has 30 days to pay or make arrangements to pay the fine or have his case referred to the US Department of Justice for enforcement.



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