Help with Publishing Fraud
Author: W. K. Hayes
In my own opinion and after my own experiences and reading some of the experiences of fellow writer's, I am providing this information. Many of you may not be aware what options you have in contending with publishing companies and their erroneous disregard for Federal Law. In most instances, many of you may believe that your case against them is merely a civil matter to be, settled in a lawsuit. However, you should know that if you have receipts from any book sells and yet, your publisher sent you a statement clearly showing no sales, this is a Federal offense. Falsifying documentation is a criminal offence. However, many of us live in states other than the state of the publisher. Any crime that crosses state borders automatically falls under federal jurisdiction. Some matters are a civil matter and should be, handled in a lawsuit. However, if you have received a royalty statement from them that is contrary to the receipts you have, available; this is a crime. In addition, you can file a complaint with Internal Revenue Service because obviously, if they are refusing to pay you, they also refusing to pay taxes from the sales of your book. If you feel they have violated your legal rights, you can press charges against them using the following address. Please be sure to include your evidence of wrongdoing at the time of filing you complaint.
Mr. Eric Holder, U. S. Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Most people file their complaints with the Better Business Bureau. However, if they have failed to pay you as indicated by their website, the BBB will accept the complaint but only if they withheld money owed you such as, payment for services rendered. Remember, they cannot help you unless it is in regards to a company owing you for services.
The Council of Better Business Bureaus
4200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22203-1838
If they have clearly stated that you have had no sells and yet, you have solid evidence of sales such as receipts from family members, you may file a complaint with the IRS to make them aware of the situation. Obviously, if they are refusing to pay you what you are entitled to and then they are impeding the IRS from collecting taxes owed. The IRS uses Form 911 for filing complaints that should be, addressed to the Inspector General. You can find the form using the following website.
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
P.O. Box 589
Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044-0589
The information posted here can be, used for any publishing company that makes false claims regarding royalties owed you. In my opinion, as writers, we are all we have, in this business. If your, legal rights were violated by a company or any other, company you do have steps you can take to seek justice and I highly recommend you do so.
I have already submitted my evidence to the Department of Justice to be, used against this particular company in the hope that future writers will have better protection against anyone that would take advantage of us. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword. If you are owed royalties and your publisher sends you a royalty statement saying you have had no sales or sales less than what you can prove, press charges on them.
In addition, you can file a formal complaint with the F. B. I. through their Internet Crime Complaints Center at the following website address. http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx Please be sure to read their instruction regarding what they do and what they will do. Still, they can help stop fraudulent publish companies from taking advantage of any more writers.