Federal Judge Officially Approves Plea Deal for Second MediaMuv Scammer

  • Save

  • Save
A federal judge has officially signed off on a plea deal for MediaMuv scammer Webster Batista Fernandez. Photo Credit: Sasun Bughdaryan

In late June, Jose Teran was sentenced to 70 months in prison for his part in the approximately $23 million MediaMuv royalties scam. Now, the court has officially approved a plea deal for Webster Batista Fernandez, Teran’s partner in the illicit operation, according to legal filings shared with Digital Music News.

The presiding judge just recently signed off on the plea deal, which Fernandez agreed to back in March of 2022. In brief, he and Teran admitted to falsely claiming ownership of a multitude of Spanish-language songs, with Downtown’s AdRev having been enlisted to secure the YouTube royalties at the center of the scheme.

A number of the ripped-off rightsholders at hand drew attention to the criminal activity on social media – seeming to allege perpetrators besides those highlighted above, it’s worth mentioning – and the government is still identifying persons and entities with stakes in the many affected works.

Back to Fernandez’s plea deal and imminent sentencing, the 35-year-old’s legal team about 10 days ago formally requested “a sentence of 48 months’ imprisonment, combined with significant restitution.”

Within the same sentencing memorandum, the counsel of Dominican Republic-born Fernandez (who’s been imprisoned since November of 2021) included multiple character references from the royalty scammer’s family and friends, in addition to driving home his purported efforts “to rehabilitate his life.”

“Webster is sincerely remorseful for his conduct and has learned an important lesson as a result of his actions and separation from his family,” Fernandez’s team wrote in part. “Webster is especially regretful for the impact that his conduct is having on his family, as he will be separated from his children, including his baby who is only 20 months old, who will be without a father during his period of incarceration.”

Also in the memorandum, the attorneys emphasized their client’s lack of a prior criminal history and acknowledged that the probation office had “recommended a sentence of 60 months for” conspiracy and a 97-month sentence for wire fraud, with the “low-end” sentences to run concurrently.

Meanwhile, Fernandez’s actual plea deal likewise stipulates that his sentences for the two counts will run concurrently and that his time behind bars “shall not exceed the low end of the sentencing range” as calculated under federal guidelines. Plus, the MediaMuv criminal will be on the hook for up to $25 million in restitution to victims – on top of the forfeiture of several bank accounts, properties, and cars.

Among the latter are accounts containing north of a cumulative $1.02 million, a 2017 Tesla vehicle as well as a 2014 BMW i8, and a Phoenix home with a Zillow-estimated market value of $1,036,200, according to the legal document.