Free music website thefutureisnow.com, which is owned by New York Times, has been shut down following an FBI investigation into alleged criminal activity on the site.
The site was the focus of a 2014 FBI raid that led to a $300,000 civil forfeiture order against the site’s operator, who allegedly made money from illegal sales of music and video content on the service.
According to a court filing on Tuesday, the investigation found that a user named “Kris” sold illegal digital music from the site and sold music to another user “Vee,” who used his own account to purchase content from the service and distribute it to others.
The complaint also alleges that “Vees” and “Krs” sold “commercial content” to other users, including “Krys” music, which was then sold by other users to others for profit.
According the FBI’s complaint, a search of the user accounts for the service revealed “Kryss” and his account had been suspended.
The site’s owner, Josh Sager, told New York magazine that he did not know who was behind the shutdown.
Sager added that the site was being investigated for copyright infringement and criminal copyright violations.
In addition to shutting down the website, Sager said the site had been shuttered by the FBI for violating the company’s terms of service.
The FBI’s raid on the New York City-based music streaming site occurred in February.
According to the agency, it was looking into criminal activities at the site, which allows users to rent music or other copyrighted content for a fee.
The FBI said that Sager was accused of selling music to “Vail,” who in turn was accused by the authorities of selling other copyrighted music to other accounts.
According on the FBI raid report, Sagers account was suspended for six months, with the remaining six months of his suspended account terminated.
The user account of “Vails” was suspended from the company.
In a statement, Sages attorney told the NY Post that his client did not have any knowledge of the site being shut down and said the shutdown was not related to any criminal activity.
“This is an extremely sad day for music fans, as the music industry and the music streaming industry have fought to protect their rights and protect the artists that have created and sold millions of songs on this wonderful service,” Sagers attorney, Michael D. Dolan, told the paper.
“The music industry is incredibly proud of the amazing artists that it has supported over the years and this unfortunate action by the Federal Government will do nothing but damage the industry and its ability to continue to create and support great music.”
Sager said that he was “devastated” by the news.
He added that he believes the shutdown has hurt his business.
“I’m not the biggest fan of the FBI, but the fact that I’m the only one that’s been targeted by the agency shows that there’s no justice,” he told the New Yorker.
“There’s no accountability to the music fans that have paid for the music they love, so it’s not fair to the artists who are the victims of this action.”