Audiophile label MoFi to cough up $25 million to settle fraud lawsuit

A vinyl record being pressed
(Image credit: Fairfax Media)

Audiophile record label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab will pay 40,000 consumers a total of $25 million to settle a class action lawsuit launched last August. The label, commonly known as MoFi, stood accused of using digital processes during the manufacture of its "all analogue" album releases.    

The scandal – known as MoFi-gate – broke last summer when Phoenix record store owner Mike Esposito uploaded two videos to YouTube accusing the company of using digital masters in their "all-analog" and "triple analog" records. 

MoFi subsequently issued an apology for using unclear language and betraying their customers' trust, but two customers filed a class action lawsuit in Washington, alleging that MoFi's analogue branding was deceptive and resulted in them paying inflated prices. 

In January, MoFi – who describe themselves as "the undisputed leader in audiophile recordings since 1977" – elected to settle the case, but the amount of the settlement was disputed by some consumers, who argued it had been reached through a “reverse auction” in which MoFi argued with "ineffectual" lawyers to find the cheapest possible settlement. 

Now a federal judge has approved the $25 million payout, which will allow customers to either receive a full refund, or keep their albums and receive a 5% cash refund, or 10% of the money they'd spent in credit to spend on future MoFi purchases. 

“We appreciate the court’s ruling, which supports all of our claims that there was no reverse auction or collusion," MoFi's lead counsel Joseph J. Madonia tells Billboard. "As always, MoFi continues its commitment to provide the best-sounding records possible.”

MoFi's upcoming releases include the six David Lee Roth-era Van Halen albums, which will be released as 45rpm double vinyl sets retailing at $125 each. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.