Univision Communications today agreed to pay $1 million dollars to the U.S. Treasury to settle pay-for-play charges, in which some of its radio stations and employees secretly accepted payment to play some songs more frequently. The settlement ends a 3 year investigation.
Univision Services, Inc. today pleaded guilty to one count of “conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with a scheme to obtain increased radio broadcast time.” A Department of Justice press release has the details in the case.
According to court documents, executives, music promoters and agents of Univision Music Group (UMG) used fake contract invoices and payments to obtain and hide the nature of the cash that funded the scheme.
In a statement obtained by RBR.com, Univision said “the agreement relates to a payola scheme by an isolated group of employees at UMG” and that the actions, which took place between 2003 and 2006, were “undertaken without the knowledge of anyone at Univision outside of UMG.” Univision states the company self-reported the activities to the U.S. Attorney’s Office when it found out and has cooperated with law enforcement throughout the investigation.
Univision sold UMG in 2008.