FCC Votes to Slam Alleged Pirates With $600,000+ in Fines

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The FCC Thursday proposed the maximum fines against two alleged Boston pirate radio operators, both to prosecute them, but also to send a message to others broadcasting without a license.  

The proposed $453,015 fine against Gerlens Cesar, the operator of a station identifying itself as Radio TeleBoston, marks the largest fine ever proposed by the FCC for apparent unlicensed and unlawful broadcasting. The agency proposed the maximum allowable fine of $151,005, against Acerome Jean Charles, the operator of a longstanding unlicensed FM station called Radio Concorde. 

Both operators received multiple notices that their radio operations were illegal. Cesar’s penalty is higher because he apparently simulcasts Radio TeleBoston on three unauthorized transmitters on two different frequencies, according to the Commission.

The Commissioners voted unanimously to prosecute both men. Pirate radio is an issue Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has long worked on. During the vote, he said: “Pirates not only harm legitimate broadcasters and their listeners in multiple ways but also put their own audience at risk by failing to broadcast any emergency alerts or abide by consumer protection regulations. The cases we consider today demonstrate the shameless level of disregard for the law that many pirates embody.”

December 13, 2019             

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