Seven men and three women are currently being held in custody in the UK after being arrested for allegedly using hundreds of cloned or stolen credit cards to download almost half a million pounds' worth of their own music from iTunes and Amazon.
Unconfirmed reports believe 19 songs were legitimately uploaded to iTunes and Amazon stores by promotions company Tunecore -- a respected organisation artists and musicians can simply pay in order to have their work added to popular online music download stores.
Over four months from September 2008, it is alleged, songs valued at a total of $750,000 (£469,000) were downloaded by the gang, for which iTunes and Amazon doled out $300,000 in royalties, said to have made the gang tens of thousands of pounds. Both companies were unaware of the fraudulent activity at the time, Scotland Yard has said.
According to the Times, police sources say they believe one member of the gang is a DJ, and was responsible for creating the songs later purchased on the stolen or cloned British and American credit cards.
The cuffing of all the suspects took place yesterday at addresses in London, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Kent, according to the Times, and follows investigations made by the FBI and the Metropolitan Police.