Filippo Bernardini impersonated agents and other people in the literary world. To steal the works of authors from Pulitzer Prize winners.
An Italian man who authorities say used a sophisticated scheme. To steal unpublished works of authors pleaded guilty Friday, prosecutors said.
Filippo Bernardini, who worked at Simon & Schuster UK. Between August 2016 and January 2022. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said in a statement.
He used fake email accounts to impersonate real people in the literary world, the office said. Those who are incognito include talent agencies, publishing houses and scouts.
Bernardini, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, prosecutors said.
A federal public defender listed as representing Bernardini. Did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Among those duped was a Pulitzer Prize recipient. Who sent Bernardini a copy of their unpublished manuscript, according to an indictment. The document did not name the author or editor.
“Filippo Bernardini used his inside knowledge. The publishing industry to create a scheme. That stole valuable works from authors and threatened. The publishing industry,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
Bernardini created 160 fake Internet domains of real people. And entities and allegedly made only minor typographical changes. That were difficult to identify.
A Simon & Schuster representative said at the time that they were “shocked. And appalled” to learn of the allegations and were grateful to the FBI for investigating the case.