Police in London have arrested a 25 year-old man accused of selling vouchers for downloads at Allofmp3.com.
According to the BPI, the man was allegedly selling the vouchers, which allowed users to access the site and download music, throughout the UK and Europe via commercial websites and online auction services such as eBay.
The use of vouchers is necessary because credit card firms throughout Europe have vowed to block any attempted payments made to the service.
After selling the vouchers, sometimes for as much as £10, authorities claimed that the man transferred the money to offshore bank accounts connected to the owners of Allofmp3.com.
The BPI estimates that the operation generated "tens of thousands of pounds" in revenue.
The man, a resident of Bow in London, will be charged with violating the UK Fraud Act 2006, which allows for the prosecution of individuals who make and distribute materials intended for fraud. If convicted, he could face 10 years in prison.
The practice of hiring a user as a 'mule' to facilitate illegal online transactions and launder money is not uncommon. Foreign-based software pirates and phishing groups have been using local agents for years.
The jobs are often presented as 'get rich quick' schemes and users are often unaware of the true nature of the position until after they have been arrested.
Allofmp3 has been under fire from recording industry groups around the world for nearly a year.
The BPI has brought suit against Allofmp3.com for its operation in the UK, which the group says was at one time second in popularity only to iTunes.
Allofmp3 maintains that its service is licensed to operate under Russian law, although the site warns that foreign users will not be protected and could face charges if they are in a country where the service is illegal.
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