FCC Settles Case of License Holder’s Foreign Ownership

The Enforcement Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a settlement with a company over charges that it failed to accurately disclose ownership stakes in the company held by foreign parties.

According to a press release issued by the FCC last month, the company, Truphone, failed to disclose individual investments of more than 5% of the company by Russian investors Alexander Abramov, Alexander Frolov, and Roman Abramovich without prior approval by the Commission. Subsequently, according to the press release, FCC licenses held by Truphone were transferred repeatedly to unvetted foreign parties without accurate disclosure and review by the Commission.

Under the terms of an agreement with the Enforcement Bureau, Truphone will pay a civil penalty of $600,000 and enter into a rigorous compliance program to prevent future violations of FCC requirements. Further, the company is required to divest Abramov, Frolov, and Abramovich of their holdings in Truphone, and to complete FCC-mandated ownership structure filings that will allow the agency to conduct a thorough review of the company’s ownership structure.

Finally, Truphone agrees to take whatever steps necessary to prevent any individuals or entities listed on the U.S. Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List from holding any ownership or investment interest in the company at any time in the future.

Read the full text of the FCC’s Order in connection with Truphone, Inc.

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