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Scottsdale man accused in music royalty scam pleads not guilty

A Scottsdale man has pleaded not guilty to taking part in what federal prosecutors say was a conspiracy to steal more than $20 million in music royalties.

Jose Teran faces dozens of counts of alleged identity theft, money laundering and wire fraud in a case involving Spanish-language songs.

Court records say Teran and a Dominican co-defendant spent money they illegally made on a Phoenix home, jewelry, Tesla and BMW vehicles.

The indictment alleges they used a Maryvale-based company to falsely claim to own legal rights to more than 50,000 songs.

A contract got signed, the library of songs were uploaded to the internet, and prosecutors say Teran’s firm got nearly $21 million in royalty payments in about four years.

Teran and his co-defendant allegedly shared no money with any of the top-earning artists whose work they claimed to own.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.