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May 15 – May 22, 2008 Edition
State of Indiana
Files Suit Against
INDIANA/5/3/08–Airleaf Publishing, formerly known as Bookman Marketing, is being sued by the State of Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter for failing to provide royalty payments and promotional services promised to authors whose books they published. More than 120 or more authors paid for services they never received and are entitled to refunds, according to the Attorney General.
The suit charges that owner Carl Lau used company funds for his own private use, and seeks civil penalties of up to $5,500 per violation, as well as investigative costs.
Several bloggers are telling stories of how they were defrauded. Bonnie Kaye, who apparently organized the move to sue Airleaf, recounts dozens of authors' stories of fraud, and asks those who may have been harmed to contact her at Bonkaye@AOL.com
Ms. Kaye's website says the lawsuit alleges that Airleaf accepted payment but failed to honor all, or part, of the Client Service Agreements and other agreements, dating back to at least January 2006. It also states than Lau used Airleaf assets and consumer payments to cover expenses unrelated to the business, and that Lau continued to solicit business and accept payments months after he indicated that Airleaf was insolvent.
"This is an important week of victory for all of us," said Ms. Kaye." It's not the kind of victory that we were hoping for yet-meaning getting back our money or getting recognition by the media that we as a group made this happen-but it is acknowledgment of our plight by the same government agency that I hold responsible for putting us in this position to start with."
Another blogger, Lee Goldberg, noted on his site, A Writer's Life, that "The action doesn't go nearly as far as the Airleaf victims would like — or Lau deserves — but hopefully it will send a strong message to the vanity press industry, especially those ex-Airleaf execs who have started their own POD-presses."
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