This is a true report, I am not using its name because this action has been repeated over the years on every dodgy site I have ever been on.
The site I discuss (which I’ll call Rite) was created by five people. One would be the Admin the others would be mods.
The Admin did all the ground work to create Rite and what the others did was plagiarise great articles and post them under Nicknames. Each mod, (and the Admin) had five different Nicks.
This meant that when the site opened there were twenty five excellent articles, catching the eye.
As each new user was an ‘apprentice’ they had to post five good items before being ‘certified’ as writer. This meant that the Admin and mods reaped all the revenue for the first pay out.
As new items, good items were posted, the Plag. stuff was removed so that in a month they were all gone and Rite was totally legit.
Rite was great paying site for a few years, then the Admin got into financial problems and needed to pay his debts.
He did this by grabbing the revenue owed to a number of writers and putting them on the ‘apprentice’ list.