UK gang gets jail time for iTunes music royalty scam

It's one of the most complex Internet scams we have ever heard of but in the end the people in charge were found out and arrested. The BBC reports that a number of UK residents have been sentenced in a case that involved the group taking royalties from music they owned on iTunes and Amazon's download stores via stolen credit cards.

The leader of this effort, Craig Anderson, reportedly used thousands of illegally obtained credit card numbers and brought in others to purchase the music from the two download stores between January 2008 and June 2009 with those numbers. The gang generated 500,000 pounds in royalties from this effort but it also cost Apple and Amazon between 750,000 and 1 million pounds.

Prosecutors in this case said Apple got involved after noticing that an unknown group of musicians were generating royalties for sales of their music "at a rate they expect to pay to someone like Madonna".

Anderson himself received a sentence of four years and eight months in jail as a result of the court's ruling, which was made in April 2011. The details about the scam were not revealed until this week. Three other people involved received two year jail sentences each. A number of others were given suspended sentences, community service or in one case placed in a young offenders institution for 32 weeks. Two other people were cleared in the case.

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7 Comments

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This is called Money Laundering and I have to admit it's a very clever one.

Use stolen cards to buy your songs via iTunes,
After sometime Apple grants you the money,
You transfer the money to your safe pocket,
When bills come to the real owners of credit cards', they go to their banks and fill some forms to be refunded,
This process takes up some time,
Apple refunds.

So Apple gets double-...d while these guys use the money they stole from Apple, LEGALLy-ish.

I admit their dumbness though. They should have drived much faster and then dissappear.

They deserve hard time not because they broke the law but because these morons are on a new level of stupid. Like buddy said if they had cards to use why bother with a "heaty" scam involving one of the bisggest pc companies on earth ? Hey lets sit at home and rape credit card companies for a million dollars and hey lets rip of Apple too
And then sit at home and wait for the door to get kicked in by cops.
retards.. nothing clever about this at all

They really didn't think anyone would notice some unknown band getting all those sales (and that all of those sales were made with stolen credit cards)? If they had thousands of stolen credit cards why even bother with the ridiculous iTunes scam? Stupid criminals are so amusing.

the plan was good, and it would lasted for years if they didn´t got greedy. 1 and a half years to generate 0,5Mp was too fast.

jingarelho said,
the plan was good, and it would lasted for years if they didn´t got greedy. 1 and a half years to generate 0,5Mp was too fast.

Indeed. They could have generated royalties at a steady pace similar to other groups like them, not step it up a few notches to attract attention.

Clever, nonetheless...