Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing Book Editors and Agents’ Identities

By: Brandon Williams, January 6th, 2023 5:01 pm.

Filippo Bernardini, a 30-year-old Italian man, pleaded guilty last Friday in New York City to impersonating editors and agents in an effort to steal over 1,000 unpublished manuscripts, as reported by Reuters. The manuscripts were for books written by such authors as Margaret Atwood and actor Ethan Hawke.

Bernardini was living in London and working for Simon & Schuster UK. He was charged with one count of wire fraud.

He could face from 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 years in prison based on guidelines. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 5th.

For over five years, Bernardini made fake e-mail addresses and purchased over 160 domain names in order to impersonate professionals in the publishing field. He used letters that at a quick glance, appeared to be other letters, such as replacing “m” with “rn,” or substituting a “t” for an “f.”

“Filippo Bernardini used his insider knowledge of the publishing industry to create a scheme that stole precious works from authors and menaced the publishing industry,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

Bernardini had previously pleaded not guilty to wire fraud and an aggravated identity theft charge upon his arrest at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Simon & Schuster was not accused of taking part in the scheme. The publishing company has not commented on the matter.

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Phil Ammar
Phil Ammar
1 year ago

I hope the Judge gives Bernardini the maximum sentence.

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