The FCC denied a petition for reconsideration of a forfeiture order against Ravi’s Import Warehouse in Dallas, Texas. The Enforcement Bureau levied a forfeiture penalty of $22,000 against the import warehouse after determining that the company operates a cell phone signal jammer on its premises.
The case began in 2017, after the agency received a complaint from AT&T that one of its base stations was receiving interference. The Commission determined the interference was likely coming from Ravi’s Import Warehouse. While speaking with a bureau agent, the company owner admitted to using a signal jammer to prevent employees from using cell phones at work, according to MissionCritical Communications. The owner told the agent the AT&T representative had warned the company about using the device and she threw it out before the bureau spoke to her.
The company’s owner didn’t surrender the device and refused to identify the specific dumpster in which she threw it, according to the agency. She offered to sell it to the agent. He declined, and issued a notice of unlicensed radio operation.
In July 2017, the bureau issued a forfeiture notice. It included a $10,000 fine for operation without authorization and a $7,000 fine for causing interference to authorized communications. The agency tacked on an extra $5,000 for what it called “egregious conduct” for a total $22,000 penalty.
The company admitted it violated the FCC rules, but said the fine was too high. It also argued that the owner surrendered the jamming device and did not offer to sell it to the device to the agent.
The FCC said in its decision the arguments had no merits and it would not reduce the penalty. Payment is due within 30 days.