This is a secret that has shaken the literary world for many years: The FBI has arrested a well-known Simon & Schuster publishing house employee on suspicion of stealing literary evidence from prestigious authors prior to their publication, US officials say.
The day after his arrest at JFK Airport, Filippo Bernardini, 29, was sentenced to 22 years in prison on charges of electronic, electronic fraud and aggravated identity theft, presented in a court in New York on Thursday.
He was placed on $ 300,000 bond, “his property is guaranteed” and placed under “house arrest” with “curfew”, prosecutor’s spokesman AFP. Manhattan told the Federal.
He was employed by Simon & Schuster in London and wrote to the publishers’ managers or literary agents with false e-mail addresses, sometimes suspected of receiving “hundreds of unpublished manuscripts” from known authors or their representatives. Describes the indictment details issued by the American legal system.
In 2019, author Margaret Atwood was one of those who targeted her agent and most importantly the trials of the long-awaited sequel to “The Scarlet Handmade”, “Testaments”. By the end of 2020, according to New York Times research, other writers such as Sally Rooney, Ian McQueen or actor Ethan Hawke were also targeted.
According to US law, a Pulitzer Prize laureate considered his publisher to have given him “his forthcoming manuscript”.
The motivations of Filippo Bernardini are still unclear. The indictment did not indicate what he did with the recovered works and whether he received any financial benefit from them.
Simon & Schuster announced that he had “suspended” his employee, stating that “further information on the case is pending”, adding that he was “shocked and panicked” by the suspect’s actions.