FCC Enforcement Monitor – APRIL 2022

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Communications Advisory

FCC Enforcement Monitor By Scott R. Flick, Betsy Craig
Pillsbury’s communications lawyers have published FCC Enforcement Monitor monthly since 1999 to inform our clients of notable FCC enforcement actions against FCC license holders and others. This month’s issue includes: Felony Fraud Conviction Results in AM Station License Revocation Hearing Dash Camera Retailer Enters $75,000 Consent Decree for Marketing Unauthorized DevicesBroadcaster Agrees to $9,000 Consent Decree for Violations Relating to Silent STA Rule, Translator Rebroadcasting Rule, and the Truthful and Accurate Statements Rule  

Up in Smoke: Lying to IRS Leads FCC to Question AM Licensee’s Character Qualifications

The FCC recently issued a Hearing Designation Order and Order to Show Cause to determine whether the license of a Tennessee AM station should be revoked. The licensee’s sole member, a former representative in the Tennessee legislature, purchased cigarette tax stamps in 2007 and sold them for a substantial profit following the legislature’s increase in the state’s cigarette tax. He failed to include this profit in his 2008 individual income tax return and was convicted in 2016 of fraud and making false statements to the government. The licensee reported the conviction to the FCC on April 14, 2017 – two weeks after the deadline set forth in Section 1.65(c) of the FCC’s Rules (which requires licensees to report adverse court and administrative findings bearing on character qualifications by the anniversary of their state’s renewal filing deadline). The licensee also disclosed the conviction in the station’s March 18, 2020 license renewal application, along with failures to file Ownership Reports and to timely upload quarterly Issues/Programs lists.  Read more…

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