Ten members and two employees have been accused of involvement in the heavy case of fraud that has affected the German collection society GEMA in Berlin.

This was confirmed today in Munich by GEMA's CEO Dr. Harald Heker at a press conference.

The GEMA members allegedly reported details of live events from all over Germany to the two GEMA employees. The members got paid by GEMA for those musical events, but the events had not taken place at all, or not in the form reported.

According to Heker, GEMA has reported an offense to the prosecution office on Friday morning (May 28) in Berlin. The two employees have been fired without notice.

Evidence has been handed over to the prosecution office in Berlin. Heker did not want to comment the amount of money involved because the investigations have just started. Insiders assume a damage of more than €1 million ($1.24 million).

GEMA has also appointed two law firms to continue its own investigation.

The repertoire affected was mostly popular music. Heker assured that there was no prominent GEMA member among the accused.

The GEMA CEO also reported that in the upcoming months an auditing company will revise GEMA's controlling systems. "We are presenting [details of] this case to the public this early because our members expect this," he said. Heker reported that GEMA also reserves its rights of recourse against the accused members.

In Germany, GEMA represents the copyrights of more than 60,000 members (composers, lyricists, and music publishers), and GEMA also represents over 1 million copyright owners all over the world. Worldwide, it is one of the largest societies for authors of music works.

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