A YouTube network boss has been jailed for 12 months for fraud.
31-year-old James Edward Yeates from Westhumble Street in Dorking pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud at Blackfriars court on 13 April.
He was jailed on 27 May.
The court heard how Yeates spent £7,700 on a credit card that was not his. He bought first class flights to Los Angeles to shoot a video which he hoped would encourage talent to join his YouTube network Jey Management.
Yeates’ former business partner Zoe Lucy told TenEighty: “I’m glad the YouTube community finally has proof that this man is not to be trusted.”
James Edward Yeates first came to the attention of the YouTube community in 2014 when he started advertising an event called YouLive.
Yeates was accused of lying about the event after prominent YouTubers who were featured on the published lineup said they were not attending. It later emerged that Yeates had not booked the advertised venue for the event.
YouLive was eventually cancelled, with a statement blaming the cancellation on “unfounded attacks” from the YouTube community.
“We have tried as best we can to stop the unfounded attacks on us, but as is the case with social media, it has spread to a level that has become too much for us to retaliate to,” the company said in an email.
Before being jailed, Yeates was trying to crowd-fund a film project called Pranking Rachel with Jack Dean and Mazzi Maz. Yeates had asked YouTube fans to donate $1,750,000 so the film could be produced.
Yeates’ multi-channel network Jey Management did secure some promotional work for vloggers like Sam King, but the company was criticised by YouTubers for using images on its website that falsely implied top YouTube stars were signed to the network.
Yeates was previously convicted of fraud in 2006, when he pleaded guilty to two charges of transferring and using criminal property. The two charges were added to over thirty counts relating to theft, which are still on file.