The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has turned down a request to reconsider a fine of nearly $2 million for violations of its rules on unsolicited fax advertisements (also known as “junk faxes”).
In an Order on Reconsideration issued in February, the Commission rejected the petition of Scott Malcolm and his companies DSM Supply and Somaticare to reconsider as “excessive” a fine of $1.84 million in connection with junk faxes sent by the companies. The FCC proposed the fine after receiving hundreds of consumer complaints about the unsolicited fax advertisements, and Malcolm’s failure to cease such activities even after being warned by the Commission that his actions constituted a violation of the law.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 makes it “unlawful for any person within the United States…to use any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device, to send, to a telephone facsimile machine, an unsolicited advertisement,” without prior authorization of the recipient.
The Commission rejected Malcolm’s petition for reconsideration on procedural grounds, noting that he failed to present any new facts that were not available prior to the issuance of the fine. The Commission also noted that Malcolm filed his initial reply to the proposed fine nearly seven months after the original deadline, which resulted in the FCC issuing its original Forfeiture Order.