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Fonovisa exex plead guilty to payola

Probe cracking down on corruption

Popular Latin music label Fonovisa and two top execs pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges stemming from a payola scandal in which cash was paid to a radio station to play songs by the company’s artists.

The Van Nuys, Calif.-based company pleaded guilty in federal court in Los Angeles to a tax charge and could be ordered to pay a fine of at least $500,000.

Label’s promotion chief, Jesus Gilberto Moreno, pleaded guilty to paying $2,000 to a radio station to play Fonovisa records. Moreno faces a possible year in prison and $100,000 fine when he is sentenced Oct. 18.

Fonovisa prexy Guillermo Santiso pleaded guilty to two felony tax charges and faces up to six years in prison and a $500,000 fine when he is sentenced Sept. 27.

Fonovisa, a subsidiary of Mexican-based Grupo Televisa, cooperated with government investigators in a payola probe that began two years ago.

The charges were part of an ongoing investigation by federal authorities into corruption in the Latin music industry.

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