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Dexter Blake

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Released: December 13, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1954

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Dexter Blake
)
File No.: EB-08-NY-0291
)
NAL/Acct. No.: 200932380004
Mount Vernon, New York
)
FRN: 0018292433
)

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Adopted:

December 13, 2012

Released:

December 13, 2012
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O), issued pursuant to Section 405 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act),1 and Section 1.106 of the Commission’s rules (Rules),2
we grant in part and deny in part the Petition for Reconsideration (Petition) filed by Dexter Blake.3 Mr.
Blake seeks reconsideration of the Forfeiture Order issued by the Enforcement Bureau’s Northeast Region
in this proceeding.4 The Forfeiture Order imposed a monetary forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand
dollars ($10,000) against Mr. Blake for willfully and repeatedly operating an unlicensed radio broadcast
station on the frequency 101.5 MHz in Mount Vernon, New York, in violation of Section 301 of the Act.5
For the reasons discussed below, we reduce the forfeiture to one thousand seven hundred dollars ($1,700).

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
On March 3, 2009, the Enforcement Bureau’s New York Office issued a Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in the amount of $10,000 to Mr. Blake for operating an unlicensed
broadcast station on the frequency 101.5 MHz in Mount Vernon, New York.6 Mr. Blake did not file a
response to the NAL. On July 22, 2010, the Enforcement Bureau’s Northeast Region issued a Forfeiture
Order
affirming the findings in the NAL and assessing a $10,000 forfeiture.7
3.
In his Petition, Mr. Blake admits to having operated the unlicensed station, but claims that
cancellation is warranted because the individual from whom he received the equipment did not advise him


1 47 U.S.C. § 405.
2 47 C.F.R. § 1.106.
3 See Dexter Blake, Petition for Reconsideration (Aug. 23, 2010) (on file in EB-08-NY-0291) (Petition).
4 Dexter Blake, Forfeiture Order, 25 FCC Rcd 10038 (Enf. Bur., Northeast Region 2010) (Forfeiture Order), aff’g,
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture,
NAL/Acct. No. 200932380004 (Enf. Bur., New York Office rel. Mar. 3,
2009) (NAL).
5 Forfeiture Order, supra note 4. See 47 U.S.C. § 301.
6 NAL, supra note 4.
7 Forfeiture Order, supra note 5.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1954

that he needed an FCC license.8 In addition, Mr. Blake requests a reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture
based on his inability to pay.9

III.

DISCUSSION

4.
A petition for reconsideration that relies on facts not previously presented to the
designated authority will be entertained only if: (1) the designated authority (the Enforcement Bureau in
this instance) determines that consideration of the new facts is required to serve the public interest; (2) the
petition relies on facts that relate to events that occurred or circumstances that have changed since the last
opportunity to present such matters; or (3) the petition relies on facts unknown to the petitioner until after
his last opportunity to present such matters.10 In this instance, we find that the public interest warrants
consideration of Mr. Blake’s Petition.
5.
Although Mr. Blake concedes operating an unlicensed radio station, in violation of
Section of the 301 of the Act, he nonetheless urges the Bureau to cancel the forfeiture by arguing that his
violation resulted from his reliance on erroneous advice. We decline to cancel the forfeiture on this basis.
It is well established that the Commission does not consider ignorance of the law or reliance on erroneous
or misleading advice from third parties as mitigating circumstances that justify cancellation or reduction
of a forfeiture, and we see no reason to depart from that long-established policy.11
6.
Mr. Blake also asserts that the forfeiture, in any event, would pose a financial hardship
and, therefore, requests reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture on this basis as well. With regard to an
individual’s or entity’s inability to pay, the Commission has determined that, in general, gross revenues
are the best indicator of an ability to pay a forfeiture.12 We have reviewed the documents that Mr. Blake
submitted in support of his inability to pay claim, and find sufficient basis to reduce the forfeiture to
$1,700. However, we caution Mr. Blake that a party’s inability to pay is only one factor in our forfeiture
calculation analysis, and is not dispositive.13 We have previously rejected inability to pay claims in cases


8 Petition at 1.
9 Id.
10 47 C.F.R. §1.106(c).
11 See Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4387, para. 3
(holding that ignorance of the law or inadvertent mistakes are not mitigating circumstances that can serve to justify a
forfeiture reduction); Paisa 2 Car and Limousine Service, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 26 FCC Rcd
14423, 14424, para. 5 (Enf. Bur. 2011) (declining to cancel forfeiture based on licensee’s claim that it did not know
that it was operating on unauthorized frequency); Kenneth Paul Harris, Sr., 15 FCC Rcd 12933, 12935, para. 7 (Enf.
Bur. 2000) (denying a mitigation claim of a broadcast licensee, stating that licensee’s ignorance of the law did not
excuse the unauthorized transfer of the station); Lakewood Broadcasting Service, Inc., 37 FCC 2d 437, 438, para. 6
(1972) (denying a mitigation claim of a broadcast licensee who asserted an unfamiliarity with the station
identification requirements).
12 See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 7 FCC Rcd 2088, 2089 (1992) (forfeiture not
deemed excessive where it represented approximately 2.02 percent of the violator's gross revenues); Local Long
Distance, Inc.,
Forfeiture Order, 16 FCC Rcd 24385 (2000) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented
approximately 7.9 percent of the violator's gross revenues); Hoosier Broadcasting Corporation, Forfeiture Order,
15 FCC Rcd 8640 (2002)
(forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented approximately 7.6 percent of the
violator's gross revenues).
13 See 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E) (requiring Commission to take into account the nature, circumstances, extent, and
gravity of the violation and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses,
ability to pay, and such other matters as justice may require).
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1954

of repeated or otherwise egregious violations.14 Therefore, future violations of this kind may result in
significantly higher forfeitures that may not be reduced due to Mr. Blake’s financial circumstances.

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

7.
Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 405 of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended,15 and Section 1.106 of the Commission’s rules,16 that the Petition for
Reconsideration filed by Dexter Blake

IS GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART

.
8.

IT IS ALSO ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act, and Sections 0.111,
0.311, and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission’s rules,17 Dexter Blake

IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY
FORFEITURE

in the amount of one thousand seven hundred dollars ($1,700) for violation of Section
301 of the Act.
9.
Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in Section 1.80 of
the Rules within thirty (30) calendar days after the release date of this Memorandum Opinion and Order.18
If the forfeiture is not paid within the period specified, the case may be referred to the U.S. Department of
Justice for enforcement of the forfeiture pursuant to Section 504(a) of the Act.19 Dexter Blake shall send
electronic notification of payment to NER-Response@fcc.gov on the date said payment is made. The
payment must be made by check or similar instrument, wire transfer, or credit card, and must include the
NAL/Account number and FRN referenced above. Regardless of the form of payment, a completed FCC
Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted.20 When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the
Account Number in block number 23A (call sign/other ID) and enter the letters “FORF” in block number
24A (payment type code). Below are additional instructions you should follow based on the form of
payment you select:
Ÿ
Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission. Such payments (along with the completed Form 159) must be
mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-
9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank – Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-
GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.


14 Kevin W. Bondy, Forfeiture Order, 26 FCC Rcd 7840 (Enf. Bur., Western Region 2011) (holding that violator’s
repeated acts of malicious and intentional interference outweigh evidence concerning his ability to pay) (petition for
reconsideration pending); Hodson Broadcasting Corp., Forfeiture Order, 24 FCC Rcd 13699 (Enf. Bur.
2009) (holding that permittee's continued operation at variance with its construction permit constituted an intentional
and continuous violation, which outweighed permittee's evidence concerning its ability to pay the proposed
forfeitures). See Michael W. Perry, Forfeiture Order, 27 FCC Rcd 2281, 2284, para. 8 (2012) (reducing forfeiture
based on inability to pay, but warning that future violations of the same kind may not be reduced due to financial
circumstances).
1547 U.S.C. § 405.
1647 C.F.R. § 1.106.
1747 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
18 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
19 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
20 An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be obtained at
http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1954

Ÿ
Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank
TREAS/NYC, and Account Number 27000001. To complete the wire transfer and ensure
appropriate crediting of the wired funds, a completed Form 159 must be faxed to U.S. Bank
at (314) 418-4232 on the same business day the wire transfer is initiated.
Ÿ
Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit card information on
FCC Form 159 and signing and dating the Form 159 to authorize the credit card payment.
The completed Form 159 must then be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank –
Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO
63101.
Any request for full payment under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer—
Financial Operations, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625,
Washington, D.C. 20554.21 If you have questions regarding payment procedures, please contact the
Financial Operations Group Help Desk by phone, 1-877-480-3201, or by e-mail,
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
10.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that this Memorandum Opinion and Order shall be sent
by both First Class Mail and Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Mr. Blake at his address of
record and to Lewis H. Goldman, counsel for Mr. Blake, at 45 Dudley Court, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
P. Michele Ellison
Chief, Enforcement Bureau


21 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
4

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