1: filippo bernardini pleaded guilty to wire fraud in new york. he had been impersonating figures from the publishing industry in order to trick people into handing over their works. he stole more than 1,000 unpublished manuscripts, many written by high-profile authors including margaret atwood, ian mcewan and sally rooney. agents, editors and booker prize judges all fell victim to phishing scams from slightly altered official-looking email addresses.
2: bernardini was arrested by the fbi in january last year. he had registered more than 160 fake internet domains from 2016. margaret atwood confirmed there had been “concerted efforts to steal the manuscript” of her book, the testaments. daniel sandstrã¶m, editor of swedish publisher albert bonniers fã¶rlag, was among those targeted. at the time of the fraud, bernardini was employed by the publishing giant simon & schuster in london.
3: manuscripts were not found to have been leaked on the internet, nor were any ransom demands made. bernardini faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and will be sentenced in april. simon & schuster released a statement expressing gratitude to the fbi and department of justice for defending and supporting the intellectual property rights of authors. there was no suggestion that the publishing house was at fault for the fraud. bernardini was motivated by financial gain, using his knowledge of the publishing industry to target high-profile authors in order to steal their works.