The enforcement process begins with collecting information about a potential rule violation that may lead to the creation of a case. Initial information about a possible violation comes from a number of different sources: filed informal and formal consumer complaints, informal and formal communications with EB, and information uncovered by EB on its own initiative.
Once EB learns of a potential violation, it conducts a review of the information to determine whether to pursue the allegation. Throughout this process, a target of the investigation may engage with EB to explain the target’s activities or dispel concerns about alleged violations. If EB believes that there may be sufficient evidence to support a violation, it will launch a case. Once a case is launched, EB may issue an LOI or subpoena to the enforcement target.
If EB concludes that sufficient evidence supports the finding of a violation(s), it may pursue a number of sanctions and remedies, including but not limited to the following non-monetary actions: a citation, an admonishment, a notice of violation, a cease-and-desist order or license revocation proceeding, an in rem seizure, and a notice of unauthorized operation. EB may also issue a monetary penalty which initially begins with the issuance of a notice of apparent liability. If not paid by the target, EB will issue a forfeiture order, which finalizes the penalty. Enforcement targets may also settle an investigation by entering into a consent decree.
For more information about the general areas of enforcement, see the General Enforcement Areas web page.