Introduction: Scammers in the music industry

Meet some famous and well-respected companies and brands and obscure individuals associated with them who you should avoid to work with
IN A NUTSHELL:
Throughout the period 2012-2015 our company VIDYPS 79 d.o.o. acted as a music distribution service on a link between its clients and multiple digital music platforms including Vevo, Google Play, Spotify and many others.
Vevo was a respected on demand advertising supported video streaming service, owned and financed by a few major labels including Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. In 2012 VIDYPS 79 launched Blue2Digital as one of the most popular independent services distributing videos to Vevo and YouTube. It operated successfully all the way up until April 2015, when Vevo sent us the delayed royalty reports for January 2015 (as the first in a row) that did not reflect the actual number of views generated from the videos owned by Blue2Digital's artists.
Millions of video views were missing (especially the most valuable ones made by the viewers in the United States) and we refused to send such doctored reports over to our clients. Instead of providing us with genuine data, which we, adamantly, were insisting on, Vevo decided to take down the videos distributed by Blue2Digital and kept them offline for two weeks. This was done without any prior notice, warning or explanation, because of Vevo's apparent inability to respond to our inquiries in a fair and professional manner.
Vevo aborted all future payments and left an enormous debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars unpaid to our company and its clients. Furthermore, Vevo required that almost all the money they had paid us for the period 2014-2015 be returned to them, although no suspicious activity or irregularity upon any of our clients' accounts had ever been reported.
The very most of our clients (artists) whose videos were taken down from Vevo were registered in the United States.
In the meantime, we had heard some rumors, unofficial and never confirmed:
  • "UMG is having a hard time making payments to its vendors and that they are attacking smaller companies such as Blue2Digital"
  • "After a lot of investigation they have discovered that there was a technical error with the embedded software which counts streams"
  • "Vevo saw a huge drop off in views of the above videos when they switched their tracking software from superbeacon to comScore"
  • "Some traffic was coming from an embeddable Facebook player, which Vevo has not to date been able to find or recreate" etc.
When we (at Blue2Digital) tried to get in touch with the Vevo officials regarding this matter, they didn't reply to our emails or phone calls having been instructed not to respond to any requests coming from our end.
It took us quite a long time to investigate the issue. According to what we have found out, things are far from being simple.
The U.S. Authorities certainly have all the information on this case. On August 30, 2017 and November 15, 2017, the companies we find responsible and the individuals associated with them were reported to the IC3 via WWW.IC3.GOV.
On December 15, 2017, it was announced that Erik Huggers, Vevo's President and CEO since 2015, had decided to step down to "pursue new opportunities". On May 24, 2018, Vevo.com's video-hosting service was officially shut down.
Due to its intricacy and complexity, we will try to present the case as concisely as possible by introducing the two companies suspected of producing the issue (Vevo, Merlin), introducing the victims (VIDYPS 79, i.e. Blue2Digital and its clients, artists and labels), presenting the details on the issue itself and finally, listing the scammers involved.
INTRODUCING THE KEY PLAYERS:
Vevo was an on demand advertising supported video streaming service, owned and financed by a few major labels, formally managed by Vevo LLC headquartered in Delaware and New York (USA). After some significant changes had been made to Vevo's owned and operated platforms, Vevo shut down its video-hosting service.
Merlin B.V. is the "global digital rights agency for the world's independent label sector" formally headquartered in the Netherlands (Europe), but actually run in the United Kingdom. It is said to be "100% transparent with their members regarding deal terms" in a way that it is "helping to ensure that independent music is appropriately represented and valued in the digital market".
INTRODUCING THE VICTIMS:
VIDYPS 79 d.o.o. is a software development company headquartered in the Republic of Serbia (Europe). Throughout the period 2012-2015, VIDYPS 79 acted as a music distribution service on a link between its clients and the digital music platforms by enabling artists and labels to upload songs to digital audio stores and streaming services and/or music videos to digital streaming services through the company's own service, Blue2Digital.
INTRODUCING THE ISSUE:
VIDYPS 79 had a Membership Agreement with Merlin comprising several music distribution deals to multiple digital music platforms (Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, Vevo etc.). The deal between VIDYPS 79 and Merlin B.V. was on a non-exclusive basis. Technically, Merlin B.V. had nothing to do with music or video distribution itself, but the digital platforms (including Vevo) demanded that all the payments for the digital music sales be made through Merlin.
In 2012, VIDYPS 79 launched Blue2Digital, a highly successful digital music distribution service which operated as such all until May 2015, when the aforementioned Vevo, with the help of Merlin (they confiscated all the money VIDYPS 79 had with them) and a couple of scammers listed below, aborted any further payments to VIDYPS 79 and its clients. Vevo has left an enormous debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars unpaid to our company and its clients, while they have never come out with an official explanation on this issue and never offered any compensation. Every effort we made to reach an agreement and settle the matter was arrogantly ignored.
INTRODUCING THE SCAMMERS:
John Guerrier De'Bey a.k.a. Sean Larvonde Thurman a.k.a. Sean L. Thurman a.k.a. Sean Thurman a.k.a. Sean Guerrier De'Bey a.k.a. John De'Bey (74 W 92nd St, 17D, New York, New York 10025, United States), his wife Sylfronia King a.k.a. Sylfronia King-De'Bey a.k.a. Sylfronia De'Bey a.k.a. Rebecca White and his mother-in-law, Dorothea Oliver-King are suspected of numerous misrepresentations, fraudulent actions and submission of forged, falsified and altered documents, including but not limited to official corporate, federal, state and court documents, documents issued by the Internal Revenue Service, the Secretary of State of the State of Nevada and NY County Clerk, alleged court decisions, falsified stock purchase agreement, fabricated invoices for alleged license fees, tax payments and accounting fees, as well as various fictitious services by fictitious attorneys. Read more...
Pranab Jyoti Hazarika a.k.a. Axl Hazarika (VILL/TOWN KAINADHARA PS BASISTHA, SUB DIVN GUWAHATI, OPP. KHANAPARA OVER BRIDGE, GUWAHATI 781022, ASSAM, INDIA) is suspected of fabricating tens of millions of video views on Vevo and YouTube during the period May 2014 – July 2015, including but not limited to forgery, criminal breach of trust and cheating. Read more...
MarvMent LLC (C/O UNITED STATES CORPORATION AGENTS, INC., 7014 13TH AVENUE, SUITE 202, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 11228) is suspected of an illegal use of International Standard Recording Codes (ISRC) assigned by IFPI to VIDYPS 79, abuse and misapplication of Blue2Digital's collection of independent works and data, copyright infringement arised out of unauthorized use of around 1,000 music videos originally distributed by Blue2Digital to Vevo, violation of the regular ownership transfer procedure and conflict of interest. Read more...
View Maniac INC (NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES) is suspected of misinforming their clients on the actual status of resellers indirectly distributing videos to Vevo, submission of incorrect information and making promises about guaranteed numbers of views during the period 2014-2015. Read more...
More names are yet to come...
INTRODUCING THE BANKS THAT APPROVED THE FRAUDULENT TRANSACTIONS:
JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. (383 Madison Avenue, New York City, New York, United States) approved a wire transfer scam to the Bank's account holder account and failed to report inconsistency with the nature of the Receiver's known legitimate business activities in July 2015. The Bank was under an obligation to confirm whether the bank account holder was legally bound to the beneficiary customer or not prior to approving the wire transfer. Read more...
TD Bank N.A. (Cherry Hill, New Jersey, United States) approved a wire transfer scam to the Bank's account holder account and failed to report inconsistency with the nature of the Receiver's known legitimate business activities in December 2015. The Bank was under an obligation to confirm whether the bank account holder was legally bound to the beneficiary customer or not prior to approving the wire transfer. Read more...
IMPORTANT NOTICE:
Our intention is not to discredit or defame any of the aforementioned companies or individuals. Our main intention is to reveal the truth and hopefully, prevent other people from being deceived and mislead. Other than that, all the aforementioned companies and individuals have always been eager to be recognized as highly significant and successful in the world of music business, and yet they have remained rather obscure. Ironically, this way they are given a chance to present themselves out to the public, but - unfortunately for them - this is a presentation about who they actually are.
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RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
.:: Introduction: Scammers in the music industry
.:: Why did VEVO actually shut down its on demand video streaming website and apps?
.:: Should we expect the Government to address issues related to one's fraudulent activity?
.:: Meet the guys from New York who fabricate invoices, court decisions, official corporate, federal, state and court documents
.:: Meet the New York based company suspected of an unauthorized use of around 1,000 music videos on Vevo
.:: Merlin Network - Are they intent on taking the control of the flow of revenues shared between the music platforms, indie artists and labels?
.:: Meet the guys from New York suspected of misinforming their clients on the actual status of resellers indirectly distributing videos to Vevo, submission of incorrect information and making promises about guaranteed numbers of views during the period 2014-2015
.:: How a joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group used to treat its clients
.:: The mystery of a letter allegedly written by a New York law firm partner in October 2015
.:: Complaint against TD Bank related to approving a wire transfer fraud
.:: Complaint against JPMorgan Chase Bank related to approving a wire transfer fraud
.:: Meet the first Assamese singer who faked tens of millions of views on Vevo
.:: Is it possible to report cybercrime in India or not?
.:: A letter to Blue2Digital clients regarding the issue with Vevo
.:: Then and now: The reasons why you should not send your video to Vevo anymore
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