$20M in YouTube royalties stolen from artists using forged letters
Two men have been accused of a $20 million over several years, according to newly released court documents.
According to prosecutors, Jose “Chanel” Teran, 36, of Scottsdale, AZ and Webster “Yenddi” Batista, 38, of Doral, FL falsely claimed that their company, MediaMuv Inc., controlled the rights to 50,000 Spanish-language songs.
Teran and Batista often used forged notes from artists claiming they had the rights to manage the music, according to MarketWatch.
From 2017 to April of 2021 YouTube signed contracts with the pair, uploaded their music and and sent royalty checks all apparently without check the authenticity of their claims.
The two used the $20 million to buy mansions, cars and jewelry.
Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.