Scottsdale man pleads guilty to stealing millions in music royalties
Feb 10, 2023, 3:00 PM | Updated: Aug 18, 2023, 7:14 pm
PHEONIX — A Scottsdale man pleaded guilty for stealing millions of dollars in music royalties using a fraudulent company, MediaMuv L.L.C.
Jose Teran appeared in court on Dec. 1, 2021, for conspiracy, wire fraud, transactional money laundering and aggravated identity theft charges following a federal indictment issued on Nov. 16, 2021, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in a press release.
He and a co-conspirator, Webster Batista of Florida, were charged with 30 felony counts.
The partners in 2017 made false affirmations to two third-party companies that they owned the legal rights to monetize over 50,000 songs. They did not pay the musicians or their representatives whose royalties the defendants collected, according to the indictment.
The co-conspirators made approximately $23,400,000 from the schemes.
They used false identities to claim MediaMuv L.L.C. had other employees, and the indictment claims Teran and Batista used the money to purchase luxury goods like cars and jewelry, according to the release.
Batista pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges on April, 21, 2022.
Teran could see up to five years in prison for conspiracy, up to 20 years for wire fraud and up to 10 years for transactional money laundering. He also may be fined up to $250,000 per felony conviction.
His sentencing is scheduled for June 26 by U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes.
The Internal Revenue Service investigated the case.