UK DJs Busted For Buying Own Music On iTunes With Stolen Credit Cards
DJs from the UK have been charged with using 1,500 stolen or cloned credit cards to buy their own tracks on iTunes and Amazon. The eleven DJs, aged 19 to 41, racked up $780,000 / £500,000 in purchases which netted them £185,000 ($288,000) in royalties and caused their tracks to chart in the top ten. The DJs employed music distributor TuneCore to get their music on iTunes.
The group allegedly downloaded the songs 6,000 times between January 2008 and June 2009. Lamar Johnson, the youngest member of the gang and who is currently serving a five-year prison term for grievous bodily harm, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud in court and admitted being responsible for about 2,000 of the downloads.
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The fake buys also boosted them up higher in the iTunes sales rankings, generating further buzz and more royalties. The DJs may have gotten away with it had Apple not been slammed with Stop Payment orders from several credit card issuing banks stating that the cards were stolen or faked.