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YouTube scammer who stole millions in song royalties sentenced to 5 years

YouTube scammer who stole millions in song royalties sentenced to 5 years

Enlarge (credit: Thomas Trutschel / Contributor | Photothek)

A YouTube scammer conspiring to run what Billboard described as possibly the largest music royalty scam in history, Jose Teran was recently sentenced by the US government to 70 months in prison.

He was hit with a “significant sentence,” US attorney for the District of Arizona, Gary Restaino, wrote in the sentencing memo, because of the “greed and the great lengths” that Teran’s scam went over the course of five years to fraudulently claim rights to 50,000 songs. Ultimately, the scam routed $23 million in royalty proceeds away from mostly Latin artists and into the bank accounts of Teran and his co-conspirators.

Teran, the sentencing memo said, “obtained more than $6 million in personal profits” and continued pocketing $190,000 in stolen royalties—which he hid from officials—even after he was indicted for the fraud. Partly because of this, Teran is considered a “high-risk to re-offend,” Restaino wrote.

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