'Hijacking' Of LPFM Permit Draws $20K FCC Fine
January 27, 2010 at 4:37 AM (PT)
The FCC has proposed a $20,000 fine against ETHICS, INC. for unauthorized transfer and control of low power FM WHYR-LP/BATON ROUGE, LA. The Commission, acting on a complaint by BATON ROUGE PROGRESSIVE NETWORK, also rescinded and dismissed modification and license applications filed by ETHICS.
BPRN was the grantee of the permit for WHYR in 2004. ETHICS was a losing applicant which allegedly used BPRN's calls and FCC electronic filing account information to apply to modify the permit, change the facilities, and change the permittee to ETHICS. In 2006, BPRN filed a petition complaining that ETHICS had "hijacked" the station by filing applications using its name and information. The Commission agreed that ETHICS' "principals have perpetuated a fraud on the agency.... exacerbated by several ministerial errors by the Commission staff."
BPRN has been granted an extension to build the station through JUNE 26, 2011.