Two Men Steal $ 20 Million Using YouTube Music Royalties, Prosecutors Say | New
Twomen may have found an easy way to steal music royalties from Youtube: claim to be the owner of obscure Spanish music.
The duo have been accused of running a music royalty program for several years claiming to own more than 50,000 songs in Spanish, according to the Department of Justice.
The couple, Jose “Chanel” Teran, 36, of Scottsdale, Ariz., And Webster “Yenddi” Batista, 38, of Doral, Fla., Have collected more than $ 20 million in royalties over several years through ” a third-party royalty management company.
Prosecutors say Teran and Batista claimed their company, MediaMuv Inc., controlled the rights to a relatively large catalog of songs. The duo reportedly approached a third-party royalty management company with the initials “AR” on February 13, 2017, claiming they controlled the rights to the music.
The royalty management company managed the royalties for a company identified as “YT”, according to Gizmodo. Although federal prosecutors do not directly name Youtube, the method of collecting royalties resembles that of Youtube, reports Gizmodo.
In some cases, Teran and Batista forged artist notes claiming they had the rights to manage the music. The indictment alleges that the couple “paid nothing to the top 30 artists or their representatives, whose music generated royalties that the defendants collected.”
The music collection would include music from the popular video game Doki Doki Literature Club, according to tweets from game developer Team Salvato in 2019.
The couple also allegedly used the identities of other people to suggest that MediaMuv Inc. employed more people than Teran and Batista, according to federal prosecutors.
Teran appeared before the to research Wednesday, reports the Arizona DOJ.
If found guilty, Teran and Batista could face “up to 5 years in prison for conspiracy, up to 20 years for wire fraud, up to 10 years for transactional money laundering and a mandatory consecutive sentence of 2 years for aggravated identity theft, “according to federal prosecutors. They could also be fined up to $ 250,000 per felony conviction.
Original location: Two men steal $ 20 million from YouTube music royalties, prosecutors say
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