Pirate In Massachusetts Agrees To Shut Down


It took a lot of government time and resources, however it looks as if at least one pirate who repeatedly broke the law has agreed to stop broadcasting. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement with Vasco Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church regarding a radio station in Worcester that has been operating without a license. The FCC has been working to shut down Oburoni since 2015.

According to a consent decree filed Monday (and subject to court approval) Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church have agreed not to operate the station any longer. They also agree to surrender all of their broadcasting equipment. In the event the FCC reasonably suspects that they have violated the Act, the FCC may inspect the premises and seize any broadcasting equipment. And, if the FCC determines the defendants have operated an unlicensed broadcasting station in violation of the settlement, the defendants must pay a $75,000 fine.

According to the signed consent decree, Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church admit they operated the illegal station in Worcester, on frequency 97.1 FM, without a license and previously operated an unlicensed station at 102.3. The FCC issued multiple warnings and issued a $15,000 forfeiture order for repeated violations. Oburoni agreed to a payment plan, but later began broadcasting again without a license on a different frequency. The FCC received complaints, including from a licensed broadcaster about interference.


  1. I am reminded, when I read of these pirate operations operated by local churches, of Aimee Semple McPherson, who was the original licensee of KFSG/1120 (now KEIB/1150) in Los Angeles in the 1920s, was alleged to have sent a telegram at one point to then-Secretary of Commerce Woodrow Wilson in response to a FRC notification of being off the station’s assigned frequency telling him to “have his minions leave me alone”. Although subsequent research determined that the story was another urban legend, I do note a lot of pirate operations are operated by religious groups, and I wonder if they think God will protect them from the FCC … because it hasn’t happened so far.


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