K1MAN Fined $21K for Willful Interference

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AA7BQ, Jun 15, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-3
ad: Left-2
ad: QSOToday-1
ad: abrind-2
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Subscribe
  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator QRZ Page

    Before the Federal Communications Commission Washington, D.C. 20554

    In the Matter of ) File No. EB-04-BS-111
    Glenn A. Baxter ) NAL/Acct. No. 200532260001
    RR 1 Box 776 ) FRN 0013164975
    Belgrade Lakes, ME 04918 )
    )
    Licensee of Amateur Radio )
    Station K1MAN

    NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

    Released: June 7, 2005

    By the District Director, Boston Office, Northeastern Region,
    Enforcement Bureau:

    I. INTRODUCTION

    1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
    (``NAL''), pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act
    of 1934, as amended (the ``Act''),1we find Glenn A. Baxter,
    licensee of Amateur Radio Station K1MAN, apparently liable for a
    monetary forfeiture in the amount of twenty-one thousand dollars
    ($21,000). We conclude that Mr. Baxter apparently willfully and
    repeatedly interfered with ongoing communications of other
    stations in violation of Section 97.101(d) of the Commission's
    Rules (the ``Rules'')2. We further conclude that Mr. Baxter
    apparently willfully and repeatedly transmitted communications in
    which he had a pecuniary interest in violation of Section
    97.113(a)(3) of the Rules. We find that Mr. Baxter apparently
    willfully and repeatedly failed to file requested information
    pursuant to an Enforcement Bureau (``Bureau'') directive. We
    further find that Mr. Baxter apparently willfully engaged in
    broadcasting in violation of 97.113(b) of the Rules3 and
    apparently willfully failed to exercise control of his station in
    violation of Section 97.105(a) of the Rules.4

    II. BACKGROUND

    2. Mr. Baxter has a license to operate an amateur radio
    station, call sign K1MAN. Mr. Baxter also is executive
    director of the American Amateur Radio Association
    (``AARA''), which has a website at www.K1MAN.com. Mr.
    Baxter uses his amateur station to advertise his website,
    which offers items for sale, including an annual newsletter
    published by ``Glenn Baxter, K1MAN'' for forty-five (45)
    dollars per year. The website also provides a schedule of
    K1MAN radio transmissions.

    3. In response to numerous complaints of deliberate
    interference caused by transmissions from Mr. Baxter's
    Amateur station K1MAN to ongoing radio communications of
    other stations, including stations participating in the
    Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Net, the Bureau issued a
    Warning Notice to Mr. Baxter on September 15, 2004. The
    Bureau requested information from Mr. Baxter with regard to
    the method of station control and what action, if any, was
    being taken in response to the complaints of interference.5
    The Warning Notice also reminded Mr. Baxter that the Bureau
    previously warned him in a letter dated April 14, 2004 that
    enforcement action would be taken if he failed to correct
    the deliberate interference being caused by his station.6
    The April 14, 2004 letter also cautioned Mr. Baxter that if
    he continued to use the station for pecuniary interest by
    advertising his website he could be subject to further
    enforcement action.

    4. By letter dated October 14, 2004, Mr. Baxter responded
    to the September 15, 2004 Warning Notice stating ``[n]o
    corrective actions are necessary at K1MAN'' and ``[n]o
    changes are needed with regard to station control which is
    in full compliance with all FCC rules.'' Mr. Baxter's
    letter further stated that ``K1MAN is in full compliance
    with all FCC rules, state laws, and federal laws. I
    encourage you to take `enforcement actions' and look forward
    to seeing you in court (s).''7 Mr. Baxter's response did
    not provide the required information requested regarding
    station control.

    5. The Bureau issued a second Warning Notice to Mr. Baxter
    on October 29, 2004.8 The Warning Notice explained that Mr.
    Baxter's response to the September 15, 2004, Warning Notice
    was insufficient and explained Mr. Baxter's obligations as a
    licensee to furnish the information requested by the Bureau.
    The Bureau provided Mr. Baxter an additional twenty days to
    provide the specific information requested. The Warning
    Notice also indicated that the Bureau had received two
    additional complaints of deliberate interference caused by
    Mr. Baxter's station. The Bureau requested information from
    Mr. Baxter regarding the identity of the control operator
    and method of station control for station K1MAN on the dates
    and times specified in the recently-received interference
    complaints.

    6. Mr. Baxter responded by letter dated November 2, 2004,
    stating that ``[m]y letter to you dated 14 October 2004 in
    response to your letter to me dated 15 September 2004
    provided all the information required by FCC rules and by
    federal law.''9 Mr. Baxter did not provide any information
    regarding the identity of the control operator or the method
    of station control.

    7. On November 25, 2004, Commission personnel monitored
    Mr. Baxter's Amateur station on 14.275 MHz between 9:21 a.m.
    and 2:12 p.m. EST. During that time, Mr. Baxter's station
    transmitted numerous on-the-air references to his web page
    at www.K1MAN.com. On November 27, 2004, Mr. Baxter's
    Amateur station K1MAN began transmitting on top of ongoing
    communications at 5:54 p.m. EST on 3.890 MHz, disrupting the
    communications by the other licensees.

    8. On November 30, 2004, agents from the FCC's Boston
    Office conducted an inspection of Mr. Baxter's Amateur
    station K1MAN. The method of station control appeared to be
    a telephone line connected to an interface board, which was
    connected to the transmitter. Mr. Baxter claimed that he
    monitored the station from a mobile receiver when not at the
    transmitter and that he could control the transmitter
    through a land-line or cellular phone. During the
    inspection, Mr. Baxter demonstrated that he could control
    the transmitter.

    9. On December 1, 2004, on the frequencies 3.975 MHz and
    14.275 MHz, Mr. Baxter's station K1MAN transmitted a pre-
    recorded program lasting nearly seventy minutes, which
    consisted of an interview by Mr. Baxter with Mr. Jeff Owens.
    During the broadcast, Mr. Baxter explained that Baxter
    Associates was a firm that engaged in ``management
    consulting, executive search and executive career
    management.'' The program consisted of a lengthy broadcast
    of the telephone interview with Mr. Owens. Mr. Baxter
    explained the fees involved, how Mr. Owens could invest in
    franchises of Baxter Associates, and how Mr. Baxter planned
    to market the franchises of Baxter Associates. Nothing in
    the program related to Amateur radio and no station call
    sign was given until the conclusion of the seventy-minute
    program.

    10. On December 8, 2004, FCC agents found that Baxter's
    station K1MAN commenced transmitting at 7:10 p.m. EST on top
    of existing radio communications on 3.890 MHz. On December
    19, 2004, from 5:44 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST, on frequency
    3.975 MHz, Mr. Baxter's Amateur station K1MAN broadcast
    transmissions of an apparently defective pre-recorded audio
    tape, which resulted in the repeated transmission of a nine-
    word phrase, and segments thereof, without any intervention
    of a control operator and without the identification of the
    station's call sign. Mr. Baxter's Amateur station went off
    the air abruptly at 6:30 p.m. EST in mid-sentence.

    11. On March 30, 2005, monitoring personnel observed
    station K1MAN advertising the www.K1MAN.com web site at
    approximately 7:19, 7:28, 7:33 and 8:05 P.M. EST on 3.890
    MHz. On March 31, 2005, at 7:28 P.M. EST, monitoring
    personnel observed transmissions from station K1MAN begin on
    top of existing communications on 3.890 MHz.

    III. DISCUSSION

    12. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who
    willfully or repeatedly fails to comply substantially with
    the terms and conditions of any license, or willfully or
    repeatedly fails to comply with any of the provisions of the
    Act or of any rule, regulation or order issued by the
    Commission there under, shall be liable for a forfeiture
    penalty. The term "willful" as used in Section 503(b) of
    the Act has been interpreted to mean simply that the acts or
    omissions are committed knowingly.10 The term ``repeated''
    means the commission or omission of such act more than once
    or for more than one day.11

    13. Section 97.101(d) of the Rules states that ``[n]o
    amateur operator shall willfully or maliciously interfere
    with or cause interference to any radio communication or
    signal.''12 On November 27, 2004, December 8, 2004, and
    March 31, 2005, Baxter's Amateur station K1MAN commenced
    transmitting on top of existing communications on 3.890 MHz
    in apparent willful and repeated violation of 97.101(d) of
    the Commission's rules.

    14. Section 97.113(a)(3) of the Rules prohibits an Amateur
    station from transmitting any communications in which the
    station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary
    interest. On November 25, 2004 and March 30, 2005, Mr.
    Baxter's station repeatedly transmitted references to his
    website, which offers various products for sale, including a
    monthly newsletter published by Glenn Baxter and offered for
    sale for forty-five dollars per year. In addition, on
    December 1, 2004, Station K1MAN transmitted a seventy-minute
    interview with a person who was considering whether to
    retain Baxter Associates, an employment-search firm owned by
    Mr. Baxter. During the transmission, Mr. Baxter discussed
    fees, investments, and franchising opportunities. We find
    that Mr. Baxter apparently willfully and repeatedly violated
    Section 97.113(a)(3) of the Rules on each of these occasions
    by transmitting communications regarding matters in which he
    has a pecuniary interest.

    15. Section 308(b) of the Act provides that the Commission
    ``during the term of any (such) licenses, may require from
    ...a licensee further written statements of fact to enable
    it to determine whether such original application should be
    granted or denied or such license revoked . . . .''13
    Although Mr. Baxter replied in part to the Bureau's demand
    for information in the Warning Notices dated September 15,
    2004 and October 29, 2004, Mr. Baxter failed to provide
    information regarding how the station is controlled and the
    identity of the control operator. Mr. Baxter's statements
    that ``[n]o corrective actions are necessary'' and ``[n]o
    changes are needed with regard to station control'' are
    insufficient. We therefore conclude that Glenn A. Baxter
    apparently willfully and repeatedly failed to comply with a
    Bureau directive to file information regarding control of
    Station K1MAN.

    16. Section 97.113(b) of the Rules prohibits, with limited
    exceptions not applicable here, an Amateur station from
    engaging in any form of broadcasting or transmitting one-way
    transmissions. Section 97.3(a)(10) of the Rules defines
    broadcasting as ``transmissions intended for reception by
    the general public.'' 14 We find that the pre-recorded
    seventy-minute interview with a person interested in
    retaining Baxter Associates, during which there was no
    station identification, constitutes a ``broadcast'' and an
    impermissible one-way transmission. Therefore, Mr. Baxter
    apparently willfully violated Section 97.113(b) of the
    Rules.

    17. Section 97.105(a) of the Rules provides that the
    control operator must ensure the proper operation of the
    station.15 On December 19, 2004, station K1MAN repeated the
    same pre-recorded phrase, and segments thereof, for 45
    minutes on 3.975 MHz after which the transmissions ended
    abruptly in mid-sentence without the station identification
    required by Section 97.119(a) of the Rules.16 The
    continuous transmissions of the same pre-recorded phrase and
    segments thereof, and the abrupt ending of those
    transmissions in mid-sentence without identification,
    suggests that Mr. Baxter did not exercise control of his
    station. We conclude that Mr. Baxter apparently willfully
    violated Section 97.105(a) of the Rules.

    18. Pursuant to The Commission's Forfeiture Policy
    Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
    Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines ("Forfeiture Policy
    Statement"), and Section 1.80 of the Rules, the base
    forfeiture amount is $7,000 for willful or malicious
    interference, $3,000 for failure to file required
    information, and $3,000 for violation of transmitter
    control. 17 There are no base forfeiture amounts for
    violations of the rules prohibiting broadcasting or
    pecuniary interest in Part 97 of the Commission's rules. We
    conclude, however, that violations of the Part 97 rules
    prohibiting broadcasting and the transmission of any
    communication in which the operator has a pecuniary interest
    are similar to violations of the Commission's requirements
    pertaining to broadcasting of lotteries and contests, which
    carry a base forfeiture amount of $4,000 for each such
    violation.18 In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount,
    we must also take into account the statutory factors set
    forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, which include the
    nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the
    violations, and with respect to the violator, the degree of
    culpability, and history of prior offenses, ability to pay,
    and other such matters as justice may require.19 Applying
    the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80, and the
    statutory factors, a $21,000 forfeiture is warranted.

    IV. ORDERING CLAUSES

    19. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
    503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,20 and
    Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules,21 Glenn A. Baxter,
    is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
    in the amount of twenty-one thousand dollars ($21,000) for
    willfully and repeatedly failing to furnish information
    requested by the Bureau, willful and repeated violation of
    Section 97.101(d) of the Rules, willful violation of Section
    97.105(a) of the Rules, willful and repeated violation of
    Section 97.113(a)(3) of the Rules, and willful violation of
    Section 97.113(b) of the Rules.

    20. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
    the Commission's Rules, within thirty (30) days of the
    release of this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Mr. Baxter
    SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or
    SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
    cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.

    21. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or
    similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
    Communications Commission. The payment must include the
    NAL/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced above. Payment
    by check or money order may be mailed to Federal
    Communications Commission, P.O. Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA
    15251-8340. Payment by overnight mail may be sent to Mellon
    Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room 1540670, Pittsburgh,
    PA 15251. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA
    Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon Bank, and account
    number 911-6106.

    22. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
    Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Northeast
    Region, Boston Office, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA
    02169-7448 within thirty (30) days from the release date of
    this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and must
    include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.

    23. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling
    a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability to pay
    unless the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax returns for
    the most recent three-year period; (2) financial statements
    prepared according to generally accepted accounting
    practices ("GAAP"); or (3) some other reliable and objective
    documentation that accurately reflects the petitioner's
    current financial status. Any claim of inability to pay
    must specifically identify the basis for the claim by
    reference to the financial documentation submitted.

    24. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
    of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture under an installment
    plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables
    Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
    20554.22

    25. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this NAL shall be
    sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, and
    regular mail, to Glenn A. Baxter, at his address of record.


    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS
    COMMISSION



    Dennis V. Loria
    District Director
    Boston Office
    Northeastern Region
    Enforcement Bureau
     
  2. N4SL

    N4SL Ham Member QRZ Page

    This guy has been itching for a prolonged legal battle with the FCC for a long time.

    Watch as the legal system is perverted by yet another tweaker.
     
  3. K3EKO

    K3EKO QRZ Member QRZ Page

    He has been asking for this a long time and it seems like he finally got his wish! Let's hope justice is finally served with this menace to society!
     
  4. NA4IT

    NA4IT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think equipment confiscation and license cancellation should be in order also, seeing he has a history of thumbing his nose at authority.
     
  5. K2TFT

    K2TFT Guest

    BIG DEAL, little do, i expect. That fruitcake will continue to broadcast his garbage and when it comes time to pay the fines....OOPS...all accounts are offshore. Just shut down the trashmasrer... how come Riley is afraid to do that? Come see come sah from washington and gettysburg i reckon....
    Rich...tired of k1man and his crap....K2TFT
     
  6. KF8RX

    KF8RX Ham Member QRZ Page

    His name is not O.J. or Michael.

    Eric
     
  7. N6BOA

    N6BOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good on the FCC but a 21K fine is going to stop this guy. He knows he's operating illegally, so what's to stop him? Losing his equipment and license won't stop him.

    Jail might.
     
  8. WA4UF

    WA4UF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well well well. Someone finally kicked over the K1MAN beehive. I'm sure that it will NOT be pretty. What'll be interesting to see is if his on-air behavior changes whilst he's having it out with the FCC, or if it'll be status quo until local law enforcement is induced to arrest him. Shades of that Gerritson chap out west.
     
  9. NF0A

    NF0A Ham Member QRZ Page

    Once a megalomaniac, always a Megalomaniac.
    Is`nt there rest homes for individuals with that disorder?
     
  10. N6BOA

    N6BOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    K3VR: Brian, the link for the FCC petition on www.no2k1man.com doesn't work. Let me know when it does and I'll sign!

    73 de N6BOA
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page