Publishing industry whodunnit solved as Italian arrested in New York

Government say they have solved a publishing business whodunit with the arrest Wednesday of a person accused of various literary heists in contemporary years, allegedly impersonating others in the business to acquire a veritable library of unpublished works.

Filippo Bernardini, an Italian citizen operating in publishing in London, was arrested Wednesday after arriving at John F. Kennedy World Airport, stated Damian Williams, U.S. lawyer for the Southern District Of Latest York in a press release.

Bernardini, 29, faces fees together with cord fraud, which incorporates a penalty of as much as 20 years in jail, and aggravated identification robbery. He was anticipated to seem in federal court docket on Thursday. No knowledge on an attorney for him used to be available.

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For years, the publishing business has been baffled by means of an international phishing scheme during which anyone with obvious inside of knowledge impersonated an editor or an agent — via setting up a faux e mail account — and tried to trick an creator or an editor into sending links to unpublished manuscripts. Works via Margaret Atwood and Ethan Hawke have been amongst the ones targeted.

The ongoing scheme used to be all the extra mysterious as a result of whoever was once seeking the manuscripts was once apparently no longer attempting to promote them or otherwise publicly make the most having them.

“Bernardini allegedly impersonated publishing trade folks so as to have authors, together with a Pulitzer prize winner, send him prepublication manuscripts for his own get advantages,” Williams stated within the remark. “This real-life storyline now reads as a cautionary tale, with the plot twist of Bernardini going through federal prison charges for his misdeeds.”

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According to the indictment in opposition to Bernardini, which was filed in July but simplest unsealed on Wednesday, the schemes had been happening from a minimum of August 2016 thru July of closing year.

It mentioned Bernardini “used fraudulent, look-alike, domains to impersonate individuals concerned within the publishing trade to achieve surreptitious access to those materials,” and that over the years he “impersonated, defrauded, and attempted to defraud, masses of individuals.”

Bernardini amassed masses of unpublished works, consistent with the indictment.

In the indictment, Bernardini used to be defined as operating in London for a “prime, world, US-primarily based publishing space.” A LinkedIn profile for a Filippo B. stated he worked for Simon & Schuster.

In an announcement, the writer mentioned it was “stunned and horrified to learn lately of the allegations of fraud and id theft via an employee of Simon & Schuster UK.”

The publisher mentioned Bernardini have been suspended pending additional info, including, “The safekeeping of our authors’ intellectual belongings is of primary significance to Simon & Schuster, and for all in the publishing industry, and we’re thankful to the FBI for investigating those incidents and bringing charges towards the alleged perpetrator.”

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