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Man dupes authors out of hundreds of unpublished manuscripts

One man admitted that he stole more than 1000 manuscripts from distinguished authors, including Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan and Sally Rooney.

Filippo Bernardini was an Italian citizen who worked for Simon & Schuster UK in London. He carried out elaborate deceptions from August 2016 to January 2022, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

The office stated that he used fake email addresses to pretend to be a real person in the literary world and duped authors into signing manuscripts.

It is not clear why he did this.


Bernardini, 30 years old, pleaded guilty in one count of mail fraud. He could spend up to 21 months prison.

Damian Williams, a US attorney, stated that Filippo Bernardini used his knowledge of the publishing business to devise a scheme that took precious works from authors and threatened the publishing industry.

According to an indictment, a Pulitzer Prize winner sent Bernardini a copy their unpublished manuscript.

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Bernardini impersonated a well-known Simon & Schuster editor to do this.

The fact that there were no money demands and that the manuscripts did not appear online is thought to have puzzled victims.

Bernardini was detained in January 2022. Simon & Schuster representatives stated at the time that they were shocked and horrified to hear about the allegations and were grateful to FBI for their investigation.

According to the US attorney’s office, Bernardini will not only be sentenced, but also spend time in prison. He will also have to pay $88,000 for restitution.


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