A group of U.K.-based DJs has been arrested for using iTunes and stolen or fraudulent credit cards to boost their chart rankings and steal royalty fees. Metro.co.uk reports that the nine musicians are accused of providing 19 songs to US-based distributor Tunecore, which uploaded the songs to iTunes and Amazon for sale. Once online, the DJs then opened accounts with stolen or cloned U.S. and U.K. credit cards to purchase their albums, with Apple and Amazon paying out roughly $300,000 in royalties over the next few months. In addition, the added sales boosted the chart rankings of the songs, resulting in even more sales and increased royalties for the DJs. In December, Apple began to receive “stop payment” orders from the credit card companies, who warned that the cards were fraudulent. After Apple contacted police in New York, the accounts were traced to the U.K., and the perpetrators arrested with the help of the Metropolitan Police. The men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.
Charles Starrett was a senior editor at iLounge. He's been covering the iPod, iPhone, and iPad since their inception. He has written numerous articles and reviews, and his work has been featured in multiple publications.