Posted on January 6, 2022 at 10:17 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

For years, a mysterious figure attempted to steal (and sometimes succeeded) unpublished manuscripts.

This person could even, on occasion, trick publishing industry veterans.

Now, the New York Times reports, the jig might be up.

Filippo Bernardini, a rights coordinator for Simon & Schuster UK, was arrested Wednesday by the FBI.

He has been charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Authors targeted by the thief range from such high-profile names as Margaret Atwood, Bryan Washington, and Louise Erdrich to lesser-known (or flat-out unknown) ones.

Ransom demands and huge sales from those successfully targeted never materialized, either, leading some to theorize that the thief was seeking a professional advantage more than financial.

You can catch up on the years-long manuscript theft scheme in the NY Times article on the arrest — or, for a deeper dive, check out Vulture’s story from last summer.

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Categories: Today in Books

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