Federal prosecutors have indicted a 27-year-old Texas man on aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and computer intrusion charges in connection with the alleged illegal downloading of more than 50 gigabytes of released and unreleased music. The man was taken into custody on Nov. 25. The indictment was announced in a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
According to U.S. attorneys, the man downloaded the music in 2016 and 2017. He allegedly gained access to the files by hacking the cloud-based storage devices of two music management companies. The man and his co-conspirators are also accused of hacking the social media accounts of a music producer and then using the accounts to encourage artists to submit samples of their unreleased work. The samples were sent to an email account that also appeared to belong to the producer.
Prosecutors say the man’s victims suffered financial losses when the unreleased music was distributed on the internet. Court papers do not reveal the names of the man’s victims, but they are said to include a California-based producer, a New York-based management company with more than 20 clients and at least 40 recording artists. The man allegedly confessed to his crimes when investigators discovered more than 800 stolen music files on his computer.
Individuals who commit fraud could face civil as well as criminal sanctions. Attorneys with experience in this area may initiate legal actions on behalf of individuals who have suffered injury loss or damage due to misrepresentation or those who have been accused of misrepresenting the nature of business transactions to others. Cases involving alleged fraudulent transactions are sometimes complex, and juries often find elaborate financial records difficult to follow. This is why attorneys may seek to resolve these matters during settlement negotiations whenever possible.