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Unveiling the YouTube Scammer: Mastermind Sentenced to 5 Years in Royalty Fraud Case
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Unveiling the YouTube Scammer: Mastermind Sentenced to 5 Years in Royalty Fraud Case

by Aiman MaulanaJuly 6, 2023
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In a shocking revelation, a YouTube scammer has been handed a five-year prison sentence for falsely claiming a staggering $23 million in royalties. This audacious fraud targeted both independent and global music superstars, including Daddy Yankee and Prince Royce. Let’s delve into the details of this elaborate scheme and the consequences faced by the perpetrators.

Jose Teran: The Nightmare of Many YouTube Content Creators

Unveiling the YouTube Scammer: Mastermind Sentenced to 5 Years in Royalty Fraud Case

Jose Teran, the mastermind behind the YouTube scam, operated over a five-year period, duping the website by claiming copyright on over 50,000 songs. To execute the fraud, Teran established his own company, MediaMuv, and partnered with another entity to maintain a layered façade of legitimacy.

Teran predominantly targeted Latino artists, uploading MP3 recordings to YouTube and subsequently making false claims for royalties alongside his business partner, Webster Batista Fernandez. The fraudulent scheme relied on identifying songs that had not yet been monetized and exploiting YouTube’s content management system (CMS) to claim the copyright and associated royalties.

While similar scams have exploited YouTube for fraudulent copyright claims, Teran and MediaMuv took their operation to new heights. They aimed to assert “100 per cent of the royalties for master recordings or publishing.” Their audacity knew no bounds, as they sought to maximize their illicit gains.

Unveiling the YouTube Scammer: Mastermind Sentenced to 5 Years in Royalty Fraud Case 29

Image: YouTube

The IRS investigation in 2019 brought the fraudulent activities of Teran and MediaMuv to light. Teran’s intricate network included multiple bank accounts under fake names. In total, he pleaded guilty to 30 counts, including wire fraud, transactional money laundering, and aggravated identity theft. He admitted conspiring with Batista to monetize music they had no lawful rights to control.

Jose Teran was sentenced to 70 months, equivalent to slightly over five years, in prison. His accomplice, Batista Fernandez, has also pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing. The court has ordered both individuals to pay restitution to those affected by the complex fraud. Downton Music Holdings, the owner of AdRev, expressed satisfaction with the defendants’ guilty pleas and reaffirmed their commitment to prosecuting fraudulent activities within the industry.

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Pokdepinion: The sentencing of the YouTube scammer marks a significant victory in the fight against fraudulent activities in the music industry. This case serves as a stern warning to potential perpetrators that such fraudulent schemes will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As the industry continues to evolve, safeguarding the rights and royalties of artists remains paramount.

About The Author
Aiman Maulana
Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one. YouTuber, video editor, tech head, and a wizard of gaming. What's up? :)