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Record Co. Charged in Payola Case

July 1, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Fonovisa, the nation’s largest independent Latin music record label, was charged along with two of its executives with offenses involving payola, or paying radio stations to play certain records.

Federal prosecutors Wednesday charged Fonovisa promotion chief Jesus Gilberto Moreno with making improper payments for radio airplay.

Fonovisa president Guillermo Santiso was charged with a payola-related tax violation, and the record label was charged with a tax offense for allegedly falsely reporting promotional expenses.

Federal law prohibits radio stations from taking money to play specific songs without disclosing the payment to listeners.

A spokesman and attorneys for the record company had no comment.

In May 1997, Moreno paid $2,000 to a program director to have Fonovisa records added to the station’s play list, court records alleged.

The charges come after a two-year investigation of Fonovisa, which is owned by Mexican media giant Grupo Televisa and ruled Spanish-language airwaves in 1997 with hits from such artists as Enrique Iglesias and Marco Antonio Solis.

The label was accused of making illegal payments to radio stations around the country.

Grupo Televisa said last year that it reported the alleged illegal activities to the U.S. government and cooperated with the investigation.

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