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Utility Enforcement Cases

 

This is a full list of the CPUC's utility enforcement cases of interest.

2012

Nov. 29, 2012: Commission Approves CPSD Settlement with Tele Circuit

This decision (1) grants the joint motion of the Consumer Protection and Safety Division and Tele Circuit Network Corporation for adoption of their settlement agreement; and (2) grants Tele Circuit Network Corporation a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to provide inter- and intra-local access and transport area services in California as a switchless reseller subject to the terms and conditions set forth below.

Nov. 14, 2012 - CPUC Cites Passenger Carriers Lyft, SideCar, and Uber $20,000 Each for Public Safety Violations

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 14, 2012 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in its ongoing commitment to public safety, today said it has issued $20,000 Citations to charter-party carriers Lyft, SideCar, and Uber for illegally operating.

Sep. 13, 2012: CPUC Approves CPSD Partial Settlement In 2007 Malibu Fire Investigation

The Commission approved a settlement between CPSD and three of the parties in the Investigation into the Malibu Fires of 2007, I.09-01-018. The fires resulted from high winds that knocked down utility power lines, igniting the dry ground brush.

Feb. 16, 2012: PG&E's Resource Adequacy Compliance (I.11-06-011)

The CPUC has approved a settlement in its penalty consideration case regarding allegations of Resource Adequacy reporting violations by PG&E under which the utility will remit $215,000 to the state’s General Fund. The CPUC's Resource Adequacy program ensures that sufficient resources are available to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the grid in real time.

Jan. 12, 2012: CPUC Staff Report Alleges PG&E's Violation of Laws and Regulations Led to San Bruno Pipeline Rupture; Penalty Consideration Case Begins

On Sep. 9, 2010, a 30-inch diameter natural gas transmission pipeline, owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) ruptured in San Bruno, California. Gas escaping from the rupture ignited resulting in the loss of eight lives, injuries to 58 people, destruction of 38 homes, and damage to 70 other homes.

Jan. 12, 2012: PG&E's Seventh Standard Substation Project (I.11-06-010)

The CPUC fined PG&E $100,000 for failure to comply with certain environmental mitigation measures in its construction of the Seventh Standard Substation in northwest Bakersfield. In addition, PG&E will make a donation of $50,000 to the Endangered Species Recovery Program at California State University, Stanislaus.

2011

Dec. 1, 2011 - CPUC Fines PG&E for 2008 Explosion in Rancho Cordova

The CPUC opened an investigation to evaluate charges of unlawful conduct levied against Pacific Gas and Electric Company by CPUC investigators concerning a Dec. 24, 2008, PG&E natural gas pipeline explosion in Rancho Cordova, Calif. On Dec. 1, 2011, the CPUC fined PG&E $38 million.

Jun. 10, 2011 - CPUC Orders Investigation of PG&E for Failure to Secure Required Energy Resources

 

 

The CPUC instituted an investigation to consider whether to penalize PG&E $7,133,100 in light of the evidence of violations set forth in the CPUC’s Consumer Protection and Safety Division’s Investigation Report. In this Order, the CPUC directs PG&E to appear and show cause why the CPUC should not find that PG&E violated CPUC rules by not securing the required energy resources for Mar., Apr., and Jul. 2010 at the time the filings were submitted.

 

May 26, 2011 - CPUC Orders Investigation of OSP Communications

 

 

The CPUC instituted an investigation to determine whether OSP Communications, LLC and its alleged owner John Vogel (collectively Respondents) have violated Public Utilities Code Section 2890 (cramming) or any CPUC rule, regulation, order, requirement, or other state law by allegedly placing unauthorized collect call charges on California consumer telephone bills. The CPUC will additionally determine whether these Respondents operated calling card services in violation of Public Utilities Code Section 885, or any CPUC rule, regulation, order, requirement, or other state law for its alleged provision of calling cards without CPUC authorization.

 

May 6, 2011 - Americatel Update: Americatel Fined $503,000 in Settlement of Cramming Complaints

The CPUC approved a settlement agreement between Americatel Corporation and the CPUC’s Consumer Protection and Safety Division regarding Americatel’s alleged violations of Public Utilities Code Section 2890 (cramming). By the terms of the settlement, Americatel agreed to pay a fine of $503,000.

 

In a previous Order, the CPUC instituted an investigation to determine whether Americatel or its agents violated Public Utilities Code Section 2890 or any CPUC rule, regulation, order, requirement, or state law, by billing consumers for dial-around long distance monthly service without the consumers’ authorization and by applying incorrect rates on customers’ phone bills, resulting in overcharges of approximately $3.5 million in total.

 

Feb. 24, 2011: PUC Begins Penalty Consideration Regarding PG&E Gas Pipeline Recordkeeping

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today began a penalty consideration phase into whether Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) gas transmission pipeline recordkeeping was unsafe, whether it violated the law, and if so whether deficient PG&E recordkeeping caused or contributed to the pipeline rupture in San Bruno on Sept. 9, 2010.

Feb. 24, 2011: CPUC Begins Penalty Consideration Regarding Muni Safety Issues

The CPUC on Feb. 24, 2011, began penalty considerations based on CPUC staff allegations of pervasive safety concerns regarding the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's (SFMTA or Muni) light rail system. This action was taken after CPUC safety inspectors found numerous safety violations on Muni's light rail system in San Francisco. In their report to the CPUC, the inspectors have alleged that SFMTA has been chronically unresponsive to alleged violations and other findings.

Jan. 14, 2011 - CPUC Settles With Three Companies for Illegal Use of Automatic Dialer Violations

The CPUC approved a settlement between its Consumer Protection and Safety Division (CPSD) and three payphone service providers (PSPs) and their owners. The three PSPs are: Intella II, Inc., Limo Services, Inc., and TNT Financial Services. Intella II will pay a fine of $1,000, TNT Financial Services will pay a fine of $500, and the individual owners of Limo Services, Inc., Barbara and Jose Quezada, will replace Limo Services as the named Respondent in this proceeding and will jointly pay a fine of $2,000. Limo Services, Inc. is dismissed as a Respondent. The decision also grants CPSD’s Motion for Summary Adjudication regarding four other respondents. The decision imposes a fine of $13,451 on Alterber Terlusky Freeman and his companies, and $1,462 on Massimo Cavallaro and his company.

 

In a previous Order, the CPUC instituted an investigation into the practices of these PSPs and their owners: Contractors Strategies Group, Inc., Intella II, Inc., A&M Communications, Limo Services, Inc., TNT Financial Services, CALNEV Communications, and 1st Capital Source Funding & Financial Services, Inc. (collectively, Respondents). During certain periods of time in the past seven or eight years, each Respondent owned, operated, or controlled payphones known as coinless customer-owned pay telephones (COPTs). Through the unlawful connection of automatic dialing-announcing devices to the Respondents COPTs, Respondents generated revenue totaling over $156,000. Of that revenue, $103,193.64 is currently held in an escrow account by Respondents’ billing aggregator, G-Five, LLC.

 

2010

 

Dec. 16, 2010: CPUC Orders An Investigation Into Telseven LLC, Calling 10 LLc dba California Calling 10 and Patrick Hines

The CPUC instituted an investigation into the practices of Telseven, LLC, its affiliate Calling 10, LLC, and their owner Patrick Hines to determine whether respondents violated the P.U. Code or other CPUC rules by (a) placing unauthorized charges on phone bills (cramming); (b) operating without CPUC authority from 2003-2007; (c) providing false statement in its application; and (d) failing to remit regulatory fees and surcharges from 2003-2007. Respondents purportedly provide directory assistance service to consumers in California and nationwide. This proceeding is ongoing.

Jul. 8, 2010 - Commerce Energy Cited, Fined for Resource Adequacy Violations

The Commission’s Consumer Protection and Safety Division issued Citations E-4195-0004, E-4195-0005, and E-4195-0006 to Commerce Energy, Inc. (CE) on Mar. 8, 2010, charging CE with failure to file month-ahead system resource adequacy compliance filings at the time or in the manner required for the months of Oct., Nov., and Dec. 2009. The citations assessed penalties of $13,000, $18,000, and $2,500 for Oct., Nov., and Dec. 2009, respectively. CE timely appealed the citations by notice of appeal dated Apr. 7, 2010. Administrative Law Judge David Gamson heard the appeal at hearings on May 4 and May 12, 2010.

CE admitted to providing inaccurate information to either Energy Division or the California Energy Commission, or both, for each month in contravention of E-4195. The nature of the inaccuracies was disputed at hearings, but not the fact that there were inaccuracies. As all load-serving entities (such as CE) are aware, the Commission’s resource adequacy program requires timely and accurate information. Thus a citation was warranted for each month.

Apr. 21, 2010 - Calpine Pays $225,000 Fine for Resource Adequacy Program Violation

The Commission approved a settlement agreement between Calpine PowerAmerica-CA, LLC (CPA) and the Consumer Protection and Safety Division regarding alleged CPA violations of system and local resource adequacy requirements in its 2007 year-ahead compliance filings. By the terms of the settlement, CPA agreed to pay a fine of $225,000.

 

Apr. 8, 2010 - CPUC Assesses $300,000 Settlement Payment on Constellation NewEnergy

 

The CPUC approved a settlement between the CPUC’s Consumer Protection and Safety Division (CPSD) and Constellation NewEnergy, Inc. (CNE). CNE was ordered to make a $300,000 settlement payment to the General Fund. In this case, CPSD alleged that CNE violated the CPUC’s System Resource Adequacy Requirement (RAR) for the month of Jan. 2009.

 

In a previous Order, the CPUC ordered an investigation into the operations and practices of CNE, to determine whether it violated CPUC Resource Adequacy program rules, regulations, or orders in its Nov. 26, 2008, Month-Ahead System Resource Adequacy Compliance Filing for Jan. 2009. CPSD conducted an investigation into CNE’s compliance with its Jan. 2009 RAR. Based on its investigation, CPSD concluded that CNE failed to comply with its RAR procurement obligations and that a fine should be imposed.

 

Apr. 5, 2010 - CPUC Assesses $12,000 Settlement Payment on NobelBiz VoIP Services

 

 

The CPUC approved a settlement between its Consumer Protection and Safety Division and NobelBiz VoIP Services, Inc., and granted a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to NobelBiz. Among other things, the settlement requires NobelBiz to file an amended application (which it has done), pay a penalty of $12,000 to the General Fund, and comply fully with all applicable regulatory and legal requirements.

 

2010

 

Jun. 24, 2010 - CPUC Investigates Legacy Long Distance for Allegations of Cramming, Overcharging, Failure to File Tariff Timely, Failure to Disclose Regulatory Sanctions

 

The Commission orders an investigation into the operations of Legacy Long Distance (Legacy) to determine whether Respondent violated P.U. Code Section 2890(a) by allegedly placing unauthorized charges on consumers’ telephone bills in many different ways. Specifically, Legacy allegedly charged California consumers for non-existent, fraudulent and unauthorized calls such as:

  • Calls that did not occur according to carriers’ switch records;
  • Collect calls consumers assert they did not accept nor make;
  • Unauthorized third-party charges;
  • Collect calls that did not connect well, were inaudible, static, were disconnected or connected to wrong numbers;
  • Collect calls Legacy connected to consumers’ answering machines.

 

 

May 20, 2010 - Speedypin Prepaid LLC Pays $13,000 Fine for Operating Without License

The Commission adopts the proposed Settlement Agreement (Settlement Agreement) and grants a registration Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Speedypin Prepaid, LLC to provide services in California as a non-dominant interexchange carrier. Among other things, the Settlement Agreement requires Applicant to pay a fine of $13,000 to the General Fund and to fully comply with all applicable regulatory and legal requirements in the future. This proceeding is closed.

Apr. 12, 2010 - Talton Pays $11,000 Fine for Operating Without License

The Commission adopts the proposed Settlement Agreement (Settlement Agreement) and grants a registration Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Talton Communications, Inc. to provide services in California as a non-dominant interexchange carrier. Among other things, the Settlement Agreement requires Applicant to pay a penalty of $11,000 to the General Fund and to file any and all reports on a timely basis going forward. This proceeding is closed.

Apr. 10, 2010 - CPUC Investigates Constellation NewEnergy for Resource Adequacy Violation

The Commission orders an investigation into the operations and practices of Constellation NewEnergy (CNE) to determine whether it violated Commission Resource Adequacy (RA) program rules, regulations, or orders in its Nov. 26, 2008 Month-Ahead System Resource Adequacy Compliance Filing for Jan. 2009. The Consumer Protection and Safety Division (CPSD) conducted an investigation into CNE’s compliance with its Jan. 2009 RA Requirements (RAR). Based on its investigation, CPSD concluded that CNE failed to comply with its RAR procurement obligations and that a fine should be imposed.

Feb. 9, 2010 - CPUC Investigates Americatel for Allegations of Cramming, $3.5 Million in Overcharges

The Commission institutes an investigation to determine whether Americatel Corporation (Americatel) or its agents, have violated Public Utilities Code Section 2890 or any Commission rule, regulation, order, requirement or state law, by billing consumers for dial-around long distance monthly service without the consumers’ authorization and by applying incorrect rates on customers’ phone bills, resulting in overcharges of approximately $3.5 million in total. The Commission directs Americatel to show cause why it should not impose penalties and other sanctions as a result of the apparent violations in this case.

Feb. 4, 2010 - CPUC Investigates Seven Companies for Illegal Use of Automatic Dialers Violations

The Commission institutes an investigation into the practices of the following payphone service providers (PSPs) and their owners: Contractors Strategies Group, Inc., Intella II, Inc., A&M Communications, Limo Services, Inc., TNT Financial Services, CALNEV Communications, and 1st Capital Source Funding & Financial Services, Inc. (collectively, Respondents). During certain periods of time in the past seven or eight years, each Respondent owned, operated, or controlled payphones known as coinless customer-owned pay telephones (COPTs). Through the unlawful connection of automatic dialing-announcing devices (ADADs) to Respondents’ COPTs, Respondents generated revenue totaling over $156,000. Of that revenue, $103,193.64 is currently held in an escrow account by Respondents’ billing aggregator, G-Five, LLC (G-Five).

2009

Dec. 22, 2009 - CPUC Denies TracFone Wireless Designation as Eligible Telecommunication Carrier

The Commission institutes an Investigation into the failure of TracFone Wireless, Inc. (TracFone) to pay public purpose surcharges and user fees on its intrastate telephone revenue. The Commission orders TracFone to show cause why it should not immediately be ordered to pay all such outstanding sums, and be subject to possible additional remedies and penalties for violation of California statutes and Commission rules which require collection and remittance of public purpose surcharges and user fees.

Nov. 20, 2009 - Cheap2Dial Pays $10,000 Fine for Operating Without License

The Commission approved a settlement agreement and granted a registration Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Cheap2Dial Telephone, LLC to provide services in California as a non-dominant interexchange carrier. Among other things, the settlement agreement requires Applicant to pay a fine of $10,000 to the General Fund and required surcharges, fees, and interest that it owed to the Commission, totaling $3,108.43, and to file any and all reports on a timely basis going forward.

 

  

Last Modified: 10/11/2013


 
 
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