Manuscript Thief Pleads Guilty

Filippo Bernardini, the Italian junior rights manager at Simon & Schuster UK who was charged with wire fraud and “aggravated identity theft,” has pled guilty to “one count of wire fraud in connection with a multi-year scheme to impersonate individuals involved in the publishing industry in order to fraudulently obtain more than one thousand prepublication manuscripts of novels and other forthcoming books.”

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:

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. Through impersonation and phishing schemes, Bernardini was able to obtain more than a thousand manuscripts fraudulently. I commend the career prosecutors of this Office as well as our law enforcement partners for writing the final chapter to Bernardini’s manuscript theft scheme.

Bernardini also agreed to pay restitution of $88,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 5, 2023.

For more, see the US Attorney’s release.

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