4. Sony BMG Payola Scandal
Date: June 2005
Ever wondered how artists like Good Charlotte and J.Lo got crazy spins on every major radio station in the mid 2000s? Well, let's just say Sony left no Benjamin unspent when it came to pushing their talent on the airwaves. Elliot Spitzer ran an investigation on Sony BMG and discovered the music label was showering radio station DJs and employees with cash and gifts to push its artists records. The former New York Governor and prostitute lover disclosed e-mails from Sony record execs discussing the number of spins and money spent on certain artists: "Please be advised that in this week's Jennifer Lopez Top 40 Spin Increase of 236 we bought 63 spins at a cost of $3,600." Caught red-handed, Sony agreed to a settlement and forked up $10 million to non-profit organizations that promote arts and education. Turns out crime does pay.