Filippo Bernardini, rights coordinator at Simon & Schuster’s London office, stole over one thousand manuscripts from big-name authors such as Sally Rooney, Margaret Atwood, and Ian McEwan.
The thirty-year-old pleads guilty to one count of wire fraud and will face a maximum sentence of twenty years. Bernardini agreed to pay restitution of $88,000, according to the Southern District of New York. He will be sentenced in Manhattan federal court on April 5, 2023.
Bernardini impersonated agents and publishers through email to obtain novels from writers and their representatives, The Guardian reports. He created fake accounts that resembled legitimate publishers, but with a few of the letters changed. He registered over 160 fraudulent domains.
Simon & Schuster have not been held responsible for Bernardini’s actions.
“We are grateful to the FBI and Department of Justice for its defense and support of the intellectual property rights of authors throughout the world,” the publisher said in a statement this past January.
Read more on the plea, here.