The perps reportedly used stolen credit cards to buy music they arranged to have sold through online music outlets. They are facing charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.

Here’s how the swindle, called the first of its kind, supposedly worked.

The nine arrested – six men and three women, all reported to be DJs – paid music distribution site Tunecore to distribute their music to other sites, including iTunes and Amazon.

According to London’s Daily Telegraph, the nine people then used stolen credit cards to download their own music, resulting in the swindlers receiving royalty payments while the original credit card owners received the bills.

Amazon and iTunes reportedly paid royalties totaling £184,000 ($305,171 US) to the crooks.

The raid follows a joint investigation between London police and the FBI that began in February, according to the BBC.

“This has been a complex investigation to establish what we believe to be an international conspiracy to defraud Apple and Amazon,” Detective Chief Inspector Terry Wilson told the Beeb. “We are now making it more risky for criminals who seek to exploit the Internet and commit e-crime across national borders.”

Click here for the complete BBC account.

Click here for the complete Daily Telegraph article.