An Italian man admitted to stealing over a thousand unpublished manuscripts, many of them written by famous authors.
To obtain the works, Filippo Bernardini pretended to be prominent members of the publishing world.
He leveraged his insider publishing knowledge gained at Simon & Schuster’s London headquarters. Bernardini pleaded guilty to wire fraud in New York for unknown reasons.
There were no ransom demands or evidence of online manuscript leaks.
The conviction of Bernardini, who FBI seized in January 2016, explains a literary problem. They targeted Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, and Sally Rooney
Supposedly beginning in 2016, he registered over 160 fictitious domain names, according to the prosecution.
Agents, editors, and Booker Prize judges were all duped by phishing scams posing. After legitimate organizations and asking for manuscripts from authors like Booker winner Margaret Atwood.
Atwood stated that there were “concerted efforts to steal the manuscript” of The Testaments. The Bookseller published in 2019 that before the statement
She mentioned that many people had sent fraudulent emails in an attempt to steal even a few pages.
Even though the Italian worked for Simon & Schuster, they did not name the publishing company in the lawsuit or blamed for anything.
The publisher issued a statement on Friday thanking the FBI and DOJ for “defending and supporting the intellectual property rights of authors throughout the world.”
In April, Bernardini will receive his sentence. Potentially, he could spend the next two decades in jail.