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Gang arrested for buying own music online with stolen cards

11 June 2009  |  7472 views  |  2 Broken record

UK police have arrested nine people accused of using stolen credit cards to buy music they made themselves from iTunes and Amazon, fraudulently netting around $300,000 in royalties.

The gang is accused of creating several songs before using an online US company to upload them to Amazon and iTunes for sale.

Between September 2008 and January 2009 the group allegedly used around 1500 stolen or cloned British and American credit cards to buy $750,000 worth of songs.

Apple and Amazon, who at the time were unaware of the plot against them, paid royalties totalling $300,000 out on the sales.

Following a parallel investigation by the Metropolitan police's e-crime unit and the FBI, six men and three women were arrested this morning in raids across London and the Midlands

They are being held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.

DCI Terry Wilson, Met Police Central e-Crime Unit, says: "This has been a complex investigation to establish what we believe to be an international conspiracy to defraud Apple and Amazon."

Continues Wilson: "This investigation, with its national and international dimension, exemplifies why we have set up this national response to e-crime. It shows the success that can be achieved through our close working relationship with the FBI."

Comments: (2)

Elton Cane
Elton Cane - writer & tech geek - Brisbane | 11 June, 2009, 07:59

But the important question in this iTunes money laundry story remains unanswered - was the music any good? Or perhaps that was how they got caught. Maybe someone at Apple heard it and thought: "There's no way 700,000 people have bought this."

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Keith Richbell
Keith Richbell - eftpos Payments Australia Ltd. (ePAL) - Sydney | 12 June, 2009, 00:11

I believe they recorded a collection of cover versions including: The theme from the Clone Ranger, Are you Clonesome tonight?, and a selection of songs by the Rolling Clones.

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