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July 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish-speaking television network, has agreed to pay $1 million in penalties to authorities for the payola practices of its now-defunct record company, Univision Music Group. It also agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The Justice Department had accused the Univision music company of bribing radio station program directors with hundreds of thousands of dollars that was sent to them in cash via Federal Express or deposited in off-shore bank accounts for them. One programmer in New York received a payment of $157,000 in cash, according to the Justice Department’s complaint. Another received monthly payments of $10,000. The program directors, in turn, concealed the payments from station management. None of the participants in the scheme were named in the court documents, but both the Justice Department and the FCC indicated that they were looking into the matter and could bring charges against the individuals at a later date. In a statement, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, “This agreement with Univision underscores the FCC’s focus on consumer protection and our commitment to ensuring that broadcasters play it straight with the public.”