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FCC Fines Starfone $409k for Int'l Licensing and Other Violations

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Released: May 23, 2014
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Federal Communications Commission

FCC 14-67

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of

)

File No.: EB-IHD-13-00011657

1

)

RB Communications, Inc., d/b/a Starfone

)

NAL/Acct. No.: 201232080018

)

)

FRN: 0012951612

FORFEITURE ORDER

Adopted: May 23, 2014

Released: May 23, 2014

By the Commission:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.

In this Forfeiture Order, we impose a penalty of $408,668 against RB Communications,

Inc., d/b/a Starfone (Starfone or the Company) for providing interstate and international

telecommunications services over a four-year period without first meeting important regulatory

obligations. Specifically, Starfone provided interstate telecommunications service without registering

with the Commission and international telecommunications service without obtaining Commission

authority. Starfone also failed to make timely contributions to the Interstate Telecommunications Relay

Service (TRS) Fund and to timely pay the regulatory fees it owed the Commission. Each of these

violations harmed the public. Starfone evaded Commission oversight for years by failing to register.

Starfone subjected the nation to potential national security and law enforcement risks by not timely

seeking or obtaining authority to provide international telecommunications service. Starfone’s TRS

violations harmed the critically important TRS program, which depends on timely contributions to

provide persons with disabilities access to the same communications services enjoyed by others. By

failing to pay its regulatory fees on time, Starfone unfairly shifted its share of regulatory costs to other

providers. Finally, since the Commission issued the proposed forfeiture against the Company, Starfone

has continued to default on its ongoing contribution obligations to the TRS Fund.

The forfeiture we

impose here reflects the seriousness, duration, and scope of Starfone’s violations, and also takes into

account the Company’s ongoing record of noncompliance.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.

The factual background for this Forfeiture Order is set forth in detail in the Notice of

Apparent Liability that the Commission previously issued against Starfone (Starfone NAL),2 and will not

be repeated here at length. RB Communications, Inc. is a California corporation that, through the trade

name Starfone, resells interstate and international telecommunications services to end users.3 Starfone

advertises itself as “a value added provider of Long Distance (International), prepaid and postpaid calling

1 This investigation was formerly assigned File No. EB-08-IH-5303.

2 See RB Communications, Inc., d/b/a Starfone, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order, 27 FCC Rcd

4393 (2012). The Starfone NAL is incorporated by reference herein.

3 Id. at 4396, para. 8.

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services based on an online pinless calling card system” that allows users global access to over 300

countries.4

3.

On April 13, 2012, the Commission adopted the Starfone NAL, which found that Starfone

had apparently violated: (1) Section 214 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act) and

Section 63.18 of the Commission’s rules (Rules) by failing to obtain international Section 214 authority

before providing international telecommunications service;5 (2) Section 64.1195(a) of the Rules by failing

to register with the Commission from the time it began providing interstate telecommunications services

until July 23, 2009;6 (3) Section 64.604(c)(5)(iii)(A) of the Rules by failing to timely make required TRS

contributions for 2007, 2008, and 2009;7 and (4) Sections 1.1154 and 1.1157(b)(1) of the Rules by failing

to pay regulatory fees due to the Commission for each year from 2007 to 2011.8 The Commission also

found that each of these apparent violations had been willful or repeated and that, because Starfone’s TRS

contributions and regulatory fees for the periods at issue remained unpaid, these failure-to-pay violations

were continuing violations until cured by payment of all monies owed.9 The Commission proposed

forfeiture penalties totaling $408,668 for Starfone’s apparent violations.10

4.

Starfone filed its response to the Starfone NAL on June 8, 2012.11 Starfone does not

dispute that it violated the Act and the Rules. Rather, Starfone contends that the forfeiture proposed for

its TRS violations may be inequitable and should be reduced. The Company also argues for a reduced

forfeiture on the grounds that it cooperated with Commission staff during the course of the investigation

and that it has registered and obtained authority to provide international telecommunications service from

the Commission. It claims that it “has corrected any deficiencies that come to its attention” and is “now

maintaining a history of compliance.”12 Starfone asserts that these factors support a reduction of the

proposed forfeiture.13 Finally, Starfone argues that the imposition of the full forfeiture on the Company

would cause it undue economic hardship and could cause it to go out of business.14

III.

DISCUSSION

5.

In the Starfone NAL, the Commission proposed a forfeiture penalty in accordance with

Section 503(b)(1) of the Act, Section 1.80 of the Rules, and the forfeiture guidelines.15 Section

503(b)(1)(B) provides that any person who “willfully or repeatedly” violates the Act or the Rules “shall

4 Id. at 4396, para. 8 n.26 (quoting Starfone web site at http://www.starfone.net/aboutus.aspx (visited April 9,

2012)). Starfone’s current web site also recites this information. See Starfone “About Us” Page,

http://www.starfone.net/aboutus.aspx (last visited May 22, 2014).

5 Starfone NAL, 27 FCC Rcd at 4397–98, para. 14 (citing 47 U.S.C. § 214; 47 C.F.R. § 63.18).

6 Id. at 4399, para. 17 (citing 47 C.F.R. § 64.1195(a)).

7 Id. at para. 18 (citing 47 C.F.R. § 64.604(c)(5)(iii)(A)).

8 Id. at 4399–4400, para. 19 (citing 47 C.F.R. § 1.1154, 1.1157(b)(1)).

9 Id. at 4397, 4402, paras. 13, 25, 27.

10 See id. at 4402, para. 28.

11 See Response of RB Communications, Inc. to Notice of Apparently Liability Requesting Consent Decree

Negotiations (filed June 8, 2012) (on file in EB-IHD-13-00011657) (NAL Response).

12 See id. at 3–7.

13 See id.

14 Id. at 3, 7. At Starfone’s request, id., Commission staff attempted to negotiate a consent decree with the

Company. The parties were unable to reach an agreement to resolve this matter.

15 See Starfone NAL, 27 FCC Rcd at 4400, para. 20 (citing 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1)(B); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(6) (2012),

Note to paragraph (b)(6): Guidelines for Assessing Forfeitures); id. at 4400–02, paras. 21–28.

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be liable . . . for a forfeiture penalty.”16 In assessing forfeitures, Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act requires

that we 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.”17 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act defines willful as “the conscious and

deliberate commission or omission of [any] act, irrespective of any intent to violate” the law.18 The

legislative history to Section 312(f)(1) clarifies that this definition of willful applies to both Sections 312

and 503(b) of the Act,19 and the Commission has so interpreted the term in the Section 503(b) context.20

6.

We have examined Starfone’s NAL Response in light of the aforementioned statutory

factors, our Rules and precedent, and our forfeiture guidelines. After consideration of all relevant

information, including the information in the NAL Response, we conclude that Starfone willfully violated

the Act and the Rules, and that a forfeiture of $408,668 properly reflects the seriousness, duration, and

scope of Starfone’s violations and best serves the interest of justice. We therefore conclude that Starfone

is liable for a forfeiture of $408,668.

A.

Starfone Willfully Violated the Communications Act and the Rules

7.

Based on our review of the record, we find that Starfone violated the Act and the Rules as

alleged in the Starfone NAL, and that each of Starfone’s violations was willful. Starfone does not dispute

that it committed the violations identified in the Starfone NAL.21 Nor does Starfone dispute that its

violations were willful or otherwise suggest that its actions or omissions underlying the violations were

not “conscious and deliberate.”22

8.

Starfone violated Section 214 of the Act and Section 63.18 of the Rules by providing

international telecommunications service for over six years before obtaining Section 214 authority from

the Commission to provide such service.23

Starfone continued to provide international

telecommunications service between February 1, 2010, when it finally applied for international Section

214 authority, and March 5, 2010, when the Commission granted Starfone that authority, even though

Starfone neither requested nor obtained special temporary authority (STA) to provide such service.24

Starfone violated Section 64.1195 of the Rules by providing interstate telecommunications service for

16 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1)(B).

17 Id. § 503(b)(2)(E).

18 Id. § 312(f)(1).

19 See H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982) (“This provision [inserted in Section 312] defines the

terms ‘willful’ and ‘repeated’ for purposes of Section 312, and for any other relevant section of the act (e.g., Section

503) . . . . As defined . . . ‘willful’ means that the licensee knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless of

whether there was an intent to violate the law. ‘Repeated’ means more than once, or where the act is continuous, for

more than one day. Whether an act is considered to be ‘continuous’ would depend upon the circumstances in each

case. The definitions are intended primarily to clarify the language in Sections 312 and 503, and are consistent with

the Commission’s application of those terms . . . .”).

20 See, e.g., So. Cal. Broad. Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388, para. 5 (1991), recon.

denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992).

21 See NAL Response.

22 See id.

23 Starfone NAL, 27 FCC Rcd at 4396, 4397–98, 4400, paras. 11, 14, 21.

24 See id., 27 FCC Rcd at 4398, para. 14; see also Unipoint Technologies, Inc., File No. EB-IHD-13-00011665,

Forfeiture Order, FCC 14-11, 2014 WL 554086, at *2, paras. 7 (Feb. 11, 2014) (Unipoint Forfeiture Order); id. at

*7, para. 24 (citing Teleplus, LLC, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 24 FCC Rcd 7666, 7669, para. 8

(Enf. Bur. 2009)).

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over four years before registering with the Commission.25 Starfone violated Section 64.604(c)(5)(iii)(A)

of the Rules by failing to timely make contributions totaling $257,336 to the TRS Fund for 2007, 2008,

and 2009.26 Finally, Starfone violated Sections 1.1154 and 1.1157(b)(1) of the Rules by failing to timely

pay its regulatory fees for 2007 to 2011.27 All of these violations were willful because they resulted from

Starfone’s conscious and deliberate actions or omissions.28

B.

A $408,668 Forfeiture is Warranted

9.

The Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement specifies that the Commission shall

impose a forfeiture based upon consideration of the factors enumerated in what is now Section

503(b)(2)(E) of the Act,29 such as “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.”30 In this case, taking all of these factors into consideration, we find

that Starfone is liable for a total forfeiture of $408,668. This total forfeiture amount is broken down as

follows: $100,000 for providing international telecommunications service without Section 214 authority;

$100,000 for failing to register with the Commission prior to providing interstate telecommunications

service; $158,668 for failing to timely make required TRS contributions; and $50,000 for failing to timely

pay regulatory fees.

10.

We reject Starfone’s argument that the Commission did not properly consider the various

mitigating factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act.31 The Commission carefully considered

each of those factors in the Starfone NAL,32 and we do so again here. The proposed base forfeiture

amounts and upward adjustments are consistent with our Rules and precedent. We find no basis to

mitigate the forfeiture.

1.

Starfone Has Provided No Basis to Reduce the $158,668 Forfeiture for TRS

Violations

11.

The $158,668 forfeiture the Commission proposed for Starfone’s TRS violations includes

an upward adjustment of $128,668, which equals half of the $257,336 that Starfone owed the TRS Fund

for 2007 to 2009.33

Starfone contends, in effect, that this upward adjustment is too high because its

wholesale telecommunications services providers “may have . . . treated [Starfone] as an end-user

customer” and therefore these wholesale providers may have made TRS contributions based on the

revenue they received from Starfone.34 Under Starfone’s argument, such payments, if any, would reduce

25 See Starfone NAL, 27 FCC Rcd at 4396, 4398, 4401, paras. 11, 15, 23.

26 See id. at 4396, 4399, 4402, paras. 11, 18, 25–26.

27 See id. at 4396-97, 4399–400, 4402, paras. 11, 19, 27.

28 As stated above, willfulness in the context of Section 503(b) merely requires that an entity knows it is engaged in

the conduct constituting the rule violations. See supra nn.18–19 and accompanying text; 47 U.S.C. §§ 312(f)(1);

503(b); see also Unipoint Forfeiture Order, 2014 WL 554086, at *3, para. 8.

29 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).

30 See Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the

Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17100–01, para. 27 (1997) (Forfeiture Policy

Statement), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).

31 See NAL Response.

32 See Starfone NAL, 27 FCC Rcd at 4400–4402, paras. 20–28.

33 Id. at 4402, para. 26.

34 See NAL Response at 3–4.

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its TRS liability and therefore should reduce the upward adjustment imposed in the NAL for Starfone’s

failure to timely make TRS contributions.35

12.

We reject this argument. As explained in the Starfone NAL, Section 64.1195(a) of the

Commission’s Rules requires that carriers that provide, or plan to provide, interstate telecommunications

service register with the Commission by submitting specified information on Form 499-A.36

The

information reported on Form 499-A is used to determine the provider’s payment obligations to the TRS

Fund, as well as other regulatory programs. In the Starfone NAL, the Commission determined that,

although Starfone began providing interstate service no later than 2004, it did not register with the

Commission until July 2009.37

As a consequence, no payments were made to the TRS Fund prior to

2010.

13.

In its June 2012 NAL Response, Starfone recognizes that the end-user revenue it

belatedly reported on Form 499-A was the basis for the TRS Fund Administrator’s determination that the

Company owed $257,336 to the TRS Fund for 2007 to 2009.38 Starfone also admits that its belated Form

499-A filing did not identify any credit or offset to which it might be entitled.39 In its NAL Response,

Starfone states that it was reviewing its billing records “to ascertain the validity of [the] possibility” that it

had contributed to the TRS Fund through its wholesale providers.40 Although it has been over 23 months

since Starfone made that statement,41 Starfone has neither produced evidence to support an equitable

adjustment nor offered legal support to justify such an adjustment. Accordingly, we find no basis to

reduce the upward adjustment for Starfone’s failure to timely make TRS contributions.

2.

Starfone’s Cooperation and Compliance Record Do Not Support a Reduced

Forfeiture

14.

Starfone also argues that the Commission should reduce the proposed forfeiture because

it: (1) cooperated with the Commission during the course of the investigation; (2) ultimately registered

with the Commission and obtained international Section 214 authority; and (3) “is now maintaining a

history of compliance with the Commission, and has corrected any deficiencies that have come to its

attention.”42

15.

Starfone’s willingness to cooperate with the Commission during the course of its

investigation does not provide a basis to reduce the forfeiture. Full cooperation during the course of

Commission investigations and proceedings is expected, and is not considered a mitigating factor

warranting a reduced forfeiture.43

35 See id.

36 Starfone NAL, 27 FCC Rcd at 4398, para. 15.

37 Id.; see also id. at 4398, para. 15 n.48.

38 See NAL Response at 4.

39 See id. (stating that, in reporting revenue it gave “little to no account . . . of amounts” it had paid its wholesale

carriers “as an end user”).

40 See id.

41 As noted, Starfone and Commission staff engaged in lengthy, unsuccessful, settlement negotiations to resolve the

Starfone NAL. See supra n.14.

42 See NAL Response at 5–6.

43 See, e.g., Coleman Enter., Inc. d/b/a Local Long Distance, Inc., Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Order of

Reconsideration, 16 FCC Rcd 10023, 10027-28, paras. 10-11 (2001) (Coleman Reconsideration Order); So. Cal.

Broad. Co., Licensee, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 7 FCC Rcd 3454, 3455, para. 7 (1992); 4M of Richmond,

Inc., Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd 15447, 15452, para. 15 (Enf. Bur. 2004); Northwest Utilities, Forfeiture Order,

17 FCC Rcd 4115, 4117, para. 13 (Enf. Bur. 2002).

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16.

Furthermore, even though Starfone became compliant during the course of the

investigation, we will not reduce the forfeiture on that basis. Post-investigation corrective measures are

not sufficient to avoid enforcement action and do not constitute mitigating factors supporting forfeiture

reduction.44 Moreover, it is clear from the record that Starfone’s compliance efforts were anything but

prompt. Although Starfone admitted in April 2009, in response to the Enforcement Bureau’s March 9,

2009, Letter of Inquiry (LOI),45 that it had not yet registered with the Commission or applied for

international Section 214 authorization, it did not actually register for another three months.46 Further, the

Company waited nearly a year after receiving the LOI before it finally sought international Section 214

authority.47 These remedial efforts were made years too late.48 The Company compounded these errors

by not quickly curing the noncompliance through the filing of an STA request seeking authorization to

continue operating while its Section 214 application was pending. We emphasize that the Company

should have requested an STA in these circumstances, and its failure to do so reinforces our conclusion

that a downward adjustment is unwarranted.49 The Commission has previously rejected downward

adjustments where “lengthy delays” in attempting to cure a violation “evince[d] a lack of diligence.”50

17.

Starfone’s claimed compliance with the Commission’s Rules also appears contrary to the

facts. Although Starfone asserts that it “desire[s] to be compliant with the Commission’s Rules,” that it

“has corrected any deficiencies that have come to its attention” and that it is “now maintaining a history

of compliance,”51 the TRS Fund Administrator has informed the Commission that the Company did not

timely make its TRS payments due in 2013, and that the debt has been referred to the United States

Treasury for collection.

This apparent significant compliance failure belies Starfone’s claim that it has

complied with its regulatory obligations.

3.

A Reduction of the Proposed Forfeiture is Unwarranted Given Starfone’s

Ongoing Record of Noncompliance

18.

Starfone seeks a reduction of the proposed forfeiture based on an asserted inability to

pay.52

Starfone argues that the imposition of the full forfeiture would cause it undue economic hardship,

force it to lay off employees, and possibly cause it to go out of business.53 Starfone states that the

proposed forfeiture constitutes “a significant amount of [Starfone’s] net revenues in the preceding year,

44 Comm’cns Serv. Integrated, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order, 20 FCC Rcd 17251,

17257, para. 16 (2005); AT&T Wireless Serv., Inc., Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 21866, 21870–71, paras. 13–14

(2002); America’s Tele-Network Corp., Order of Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 22350, 22355, para. 15 (2001); Coleman

Reconsideration Order, 16 FCC Rcd at 10027-28, paras. 10-11.

45 Letter from Trent B. Harkrader, Deputy Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, FCC Enforcement Bureau,

to Mr. Lyle Watkins, General Manager, Starfone (Mar. 9, 2009) (LOI).

46 See Starfone NAL, 27 FCC Rcd at 4396, paras. 9–11.

47 See id.

48 See id. at 4396, 4397, paras. 8, 14 (Starfone began offering telecommunications services in 2003).

49 See Unipoint Forfeiture Order, 2014 WL 554086, at *7, para. 24 & n.70 (quoting Teleplus. LLC, 24 FCC Rcd at

7669, para. 8 (carrier’s failure to seek STA while 214 application pending “‘further aggravate[ed] its apparent

violation’”)).

50 See id. at *7, para. 24 & n.72 (quoting Sutro Corp., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 15274,

15277, para. 10 (2004) (delayed remediation does not reflect “‘good faith efforts to comply … entitl[ing the

company] to … mitigation of the assessed forfeiture amount’”)).

51 See NAL Response at 5–6.

52 See id. at 3.

53 See id. at 3, 7.

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exclusive of net revenues and vender liabilities, and will impose a substantial economic hardship.”54 We

decline to reduce the proposed forfeiture.

19.

As discussed above, a violator’s “ability to pay” is only one of several factors the

Commission must consider when determining an appropriate forfeiture under Section 503 of the Act and

our forfeiture guidelines. It must also consider “the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the

violation and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, . . . and

such other matters as justice may require.”55 Here, as we evaluate Starfone’s argument concerning its

inability to pay, we also consider the Company’s compliance record after the Commission issued the

Starfone NAL.56 As discussed above, although the Commission issued the Starfone NAL in 2012, Starfone

again failed to make required TRS Fund contributions in 2013. The TRS program depends on timely

contributions so that persons with disabilities have access to the same communications services enjoyed

by others. Starfone’s ongoing failure to make required contributions continues to harm the TRS Fund and

those who rely upon TRS services. As stated in the Starfone NAL, “[w]here a provider fails to satisfy its

TRS obligations for an extended period of time, it thwarts the purpose for which Congress established

Section 225(b)(1) of the Act and its implementing regulations – to ensure that ‘telecommunications relay

services are available, to the extent possible and in the most efficient manner, to hearing-impaired and

speech-impaired individuals in the United States.’”57 Although forfeiture penalties are imposed to address

past violations of the Act and the Rules, such penalties are also intended to deter future violations.58

Indeed, in imposing the proposed forfeiture at issue here, the Starfone NAL sought to “effectively deter

companies like Starfone from violating our rules governing payment into the TRS and other programs.”59

Issuance of the Starfone NAL apparently did not have the intended deterrent effect. To discourage

ongoing defaults on payment obligations to the TRS Fund and other regulatory programs, we decline to

reduce a proposed forfeiture when, as here, after issuance of an NAL a company fails to meet its ongoing

contribution responsibilities. Accordingly, we decline to downwardly adjust the proposed forfeiture

notwithstanding Starfone’s inability to pay request.

20.

Weighing the factors enumerated in the Act and our forfeiture guidelines, we conclude,

based upon the evidence before us, that the proposed forfeiture of $408,668 properly reflects the

seriousness, duration, and scope of Starfone’s violations.

IV.

CONCLUSION

21.

In view of the seriousness, duration and scope of Starfone’s violations, we find that a

forfeiture of in the amount of four hundred eight thousand, six hundred sixty-eight dollars ($408,668) is

warranted, including: (1) one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for willfully providing international

telecommunications service without Section 214 authority; (2) one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000)

54 See id. at 7. We note that gross, rather than net, revenue, is the relevant financial information under our inability

to pay analysis. See Unipoint Forfeiture Order, 2014 WL 554086, at *8, para. 29 & n.83 (citing PJB Comm’cns of

Virginia, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 7 FCC Rcd 2088, 2089, para. 8 (1992)).

55 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).

56 We find that Starfone’s degree of culpability and history of prior offenses also militate against any reduction in

the proposed forfeiture based upon an inability to pay. As discussed above, Starfone has a long history of violations

and even its compliance efforts followed protracted delay. See supra paras. 3, 16; see also Presidential Who’s Who,

Inc., File No. EB-TCD-12-00000217, Forfeiture Order, FCC 14-34, 2014 WL 1273430, at *4, paras. 14–15 (rel.

Mar. 28, 2014) (rejecting an ability to pay request given violator’s continuous and repeated violations).

57 See Starfone NAL, 27 FCC Rcd at 4402, para. 25 (quoting 47 U.S.C. § 225(b)(1)).

58 See Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd 17097, para. 19 (in enacting Section 503, “Congress recognized the

need to authorize the Commission to impose forfeitures sufficiently high to deter violations and constitute a

meaningful sanction when violations occur”).

59 See Starfone NAL, 27 FCC Rcd at 4402, para. 25.

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for willfully failing to timely register with the Commission; (3) one hundred fifty-eight thousand, six

hundred sixty-eight dollars ($158,668) for willfully failing to make required TRS contributions in 2007,

2008, and 2009; and (4) fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for willfully failing to timely make regulatory

fee payments from 2007 to 2011. Given the Company’s record of continued noncompliance, we decline

to reduce the proposed forfeiture to reflect Starfone’s alleged inability to pay.

V.

ORDERING CLAUSES

22.

Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the

Communications Act of 1934, as amended,60 and Section 1.80 of the Commission’s Rules,61 RB

Communications, Inc., d/b/a Starfone IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount

of four hundred eight thousand, six hundred sixty-eight dollars ($408,668) for willfully violating Section

214 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 1.1154, 1.1157(b)(1), 63.18,

64.604(c)(5)(iii)(A), and 64.1195 of the Commission’s Rules.

23.

Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in Section 1.80 of the

Rules within fifteen (15) calendar days after the release of this Forfeiture Order.62 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.63 RB Communications, Inc., d/b/a

Starfone shall send electronic notification payment to William A. Kehoe at William.Kehoe@fcc.gov and

Margaret S. Dailey at Margaret.Dailey@fcc.gov on the date said payment is made.

24.

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 in the caption to this Order. Regardless

of the form of payment, a completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted.64 When

completing the 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:

Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the order of the Federal

Communications Commission. Such payments (along with completed Form 159) must be

mailed to the 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.

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 insure

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.

Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit card information on

FCC From 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 –

60 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).

61 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.

62 Id.

63 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).

64 An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be obtained at

http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.

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Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO

63101.

25.

Any request for full payment under an installment plan should be sent to Chief Financial

Officer – Financial Operations, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Room

1-A625, Washington, DC 20554.65 If you have questions regarding payment procedures, please contact

the Financial Operations Group Help Desk by telephone, 1-877-480-3201, or by e-mail,

ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.

26.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Forfeiture Order shall be sent by first

class mail and certified mail, return receipt requested, to:

Jonathan S. Marashlian, Marashlian &

Donahue, LLC, 1420 Spring Hill Road, Suite 401, McLean, VA 22102.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Marlene H. Dortch

Secretary

65 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.

9

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