Saturday, November 24, 2007

Self-Publishing Frauds & Scandal

November 24, 2007

Dear Airleaf Victims and Friends,

This has been a very productive week as far as now having nearly 200 members of our group, an amazing jump of nearly 60 people in just one week! Word is spreading on the Internet and from you--our authors and friends who are alerting others to the scandal. Each week, new stories of victims are being added to our website. I decided to rotate the new stories to the top for those of you who are keeping up with it regularly. Please check out the site at to read the new stories each week

This week, Airleaf was reduced to a workforce of 4 people। Many of you told me that you called and were unable to get a voice on the phone. Keep up the pressure by calling Airleaf at 1 800 342-6068. Voice your opinion about the fraud going on and ask them when you can expect your statements and royalties.

On Monday, I spoke to Detective Jeff Buskirk of the Martinsville, Indiana police department. He is working diligently every day to put a case together for us. As of Monday, the police have over 100 complaints from us, and as of today, at least 20 more were sent from new people this week who have sent me copies or notified me. Detective Buskirk has asked me to ask if any of you live in Indiana because this would be a good starting point for legal action. If you do live in Indiana, please send me a note at so I can let him know। This case is taking up most of Detective Buskirk’s time, but he is determined to have it put together before he leaves at the end of December. I assured him that he is a real hero to us, and that we greatly appreciate his efforts.

This week, I received a nice note from Robert Smith at Axess printing। He wanted me to share this with you:

Thank you for keeping us informed as to what’s going on with the Airleaf Authors. As you know we were Airleaf’s largest print provider. We at Axess Printing ( feel we’d like to help these authors if we can. We can produce 100 books for any of them and offer them through the year remaining the publishers rates which is anywhere from 40% - 60% lower. Additionally, we’ll put publisher status on the groups that identify as being from this organization resulting in free expedited service, meaning we’ll get all that are interested and ready books by Christmas. We’ll run a special shift on Saturday’s to clear out any orders from that week, and ship them out on that following Monday, giving everyone a 4 week opportunity to get their desired product exceptionally fast especially during this last 6 weeks of the year.
My contact information is below if there is anything else we can do to help. Any order inquiries can go in directly to Georgia Mayfield, whose contact information is below as well.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to help this group।

Robert Smith Georgia Mayfield
VP Sales Customer Care Coordinator

Axess Printing Axess Printing
4479 North Industrial Drive 4479 North Industrial Drive
Suite 100 Suite 100
Cumming GA 30041 Cumming GA 30041
678.456.6982 – phone 678.456.6983 – phone
770.828.0527 – fax 770.828.0527 – fax

Feel free to contact Rob or Georgia for your book reprints.
Here are two letters from members of our group who seem to be making some progress with their credit cards:

Thanks for the update. I am on the phone with my Credit card Bank right now. I have to do it twice because I put $5,400.00 dollars on two different cards. Airleaf will not take my calls or my respond to any of my emails, and they were unable about a month ago to find an illustrator for my children’s book. They tried to subcontract the illustrations out to different people. But once the illustrators found out about the fraud accusations they declined, and now it looks like more than accusations. Then Airleaf told me to find my own illustrator and they would do the printing and the marketing. But I have a bad feeling this company is going bankrupt in the next two weeks, and all the authors that put up their hard money will be out. I also had the local police in Westchester, Pa, at my house last night taking a report.
Anthony Stevens

I wanted to share Anthony’s story with you because if you call your credit card company, you may be asked to put in a police report।

Here’s some exciting news from Barbara and Keith Stuart। They were two of the people who paid for the Airleaf Cruise that never happened in September:

Keith and I contacted Capital One and informed them of our problem with Airleaf. I am happy to say they refunded our money totaling $1,412.00. Of course, that is not all. Airleaf still owes for a paid-for-but-not-published book plus all of our royalty checks that were never paid. We're still out at least $2,000.00 and will never see a penny of it, I'm sure. But at least we received some reimbursement.

Barbara Stuart

For those of you who may feel discouraged, I received this uplifting news this week from Jack, a new member of our group। Jack was involved in law-enforcement for many years, and he was pro-active in getting involved in this case that I didn’t know about until our conversation this week:

NEWS release

December 6, २००७

Glenn T। Suddaby, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, and William Chase, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Albany Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that MARTHA IVERY a/k/a KELLY O’DONNELL, age 57, of Catskill, New York, pled guilty on Monday, December 5, 2005, to fifteen counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341, one count of fraud in connection with an access device, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029, and one count of bankruptcy fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 152। The guilty pleas were entered in United States District Court in Albany, New York before Chief District Judge Frederick J. Scullin. Jr., who will sentence IVERY on April 28, 2005, 11:30 a.m. in Albany, New York. IVERY faces a maximum term of up to 20 years in prison for mail fraud, 10 years for fraud in connection with an access device and 5 years for bankruptcy fraud. IVERY is also subject to up to 3 years supervised release, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and an order of restitution to pay defrauded victims.

As part of her guilty plea, MARTHA IVERY a/k/a KELLY O’DONNELL, admitted that, from May 1995 through September 2002 as charged in the indictment, she engaged in a scheme to defraud prospective authors of monies paid to have their books published and, as part of this scheme:

Presented two separate persona to prospective authors: Martha Ivery, Publisher, Press-TIGE PubUshing Company, Inc॥ and Kelly O'Donnell, Literary Agent, Kelly O’Donnell Literary Agency, Inc

Obtained payments in advance of publishing from a given prospective author both in her persona as Martha Ivery and in her separate persona as Kelly O’Donnell, without disclosing to the prospective author that they were one and the same person

Demanded and accepted a variety of fee payments prior to publication of a given book, including initial payments to publish, separate fees for representation by a literary agent, separate fees for editing, separate fees for illustrations, separate fees for a Special Markets Program, and separate fees for a prospective author to purchase copies of her own book prior to publication, and offered a variety of excuses for non-publication years following the initial payment, including: problems with illustrations, problems with printers, lost manuscripts, computer viruses, failed computer disks, and production backlogs due to the large volume of retail orders placed through Press-TIGE

Made false representations regarding book signings, international book fairs and expos, complimentary cruise vacations and travel, as well as appearances on television talk shows.
Attempted to insulate herself and Press-TIGE from the demands of dissatisfied prospective authors, filed to place Press-TIGE Publishing Company, Inc. into bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York, and reconstituted Press-TIGE in a new entity, New Millennium Publishing House, Inc., and continued to solicit payments from the same prospective authors under the auspices of the new entity.
In connection with the guilty plea, the United States advised that it would argue at sentencing that IVERY defrauded more than 100 prospective authors with collective losses totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars

The charges against IVERY follow an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation। Further inquiries can be directed to Assistant U. S. Attorney Thomas A. Capezza. Albany, New York at (518) 431-0247.

Reading this article inspired me. It shows that there can be justice which is why we must be vigilant. I will contact the NY U.S. Attorney’s office this week to get some advice in our pursuit. If Martha Ivery was sentenced with so much less fraud than Carl Lau, we can feel optimistic!
So this week, I would like you all to take one more step to keep the pressure on। Please take a moment and file a complaint with your local Attorney General’s office. You can go to Google and type in Attorney General and your state. You will see a link across the top of the page for filing a complaint or sending a complaint in if you prefer to send it by mail. Once your complaint is sent in, your state’s Attorney General will contact the Indiana Attorney General to see what is being done about the problem. I believe that the Indiana Attorney General has been extremely lax in dealing with Airleaf as some of you have mentioned to me. Remember, the Indiana Attorney General had previous complaints about Airleaf long before we began our campaign and made settlement with several authors. And yet, they gave no warnings on their site, nor did they continue to monitor Airleaf illegal activities. Please send me a note after you file a local complaint so I can track them, including letting me know what state you are in. Every complaint counts and helps us build our case. In case you need the Airleaf information for your local state complaints, here it is:

Carl Lau, Owner Airleaf Publishing and Bookselling35 Industrial Drive · Martinsville, Indiana 46151Telephone: 1 800 342-६०६८

This week, I spoke to Clara, our 87-year old member whom I wrote about last week. She is a lovely woman who was swindled by Airleaf in the amount of $7,700.00. She read me a letter sent to her by the Attorney General in Indiana which stated that Carl Lau told them that he was going out of business two weeks ago. Of course, that was a lie as well, because even as of last week, a number of you sent me advertisements from Airleaf asking you for money since Carl was going to Hollywood and would take your book there. One of the people solicited was Clara!
Several of you spoke to Airleaf, and they offered to sell you your own books at a reasonable price। If this happens, my suggestion is to ask them to send the books first. Do not spend one more penny giving Airleaf money for something you already paid for. Airleaf is also offering some people a discount price to publish your books for the holiday season. This is interesting since they haven’t been able to produce so many of your books after two years.

Ironically, this week Carl Lau sent one of our members his “version” of what is happening। In that letter he stated, “I really don’t understand why they have such hate for me we have been able to sell books and do things that no one else has done, we have worked very hard to sell books over the last 5 years and tried many programs some have worked and others haven’t but we have tried.” Obviously, he still doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that people have invested their life savings for a dream that became a fraudulent nightmare. People who have this behavior are what they call true “sociopaths.” Sociopaths have no conscience and often believe that they are the victims, rather than the people they are victimizing.

My final word for today—a large number of you have told me how “stupid” you feel because you were misled into a fraudulent scam। You should never feel that way। We were defrauded by the best in the business. We all believe in ourselves and in our work. When a company writes to us and tells us that they can make our stories into national successes or movies, it is easy to believe this because we believe in our work. In our Airleaf Victims group, we have people from every walk of life including doctors, lawyers, business executives, teachers, and social workers. We all believed in a dream that was being peddled to us. You are not to blame—the company that stole your money is the one to blame.

I’ll be in touch next week. Please feel free to write to me with any concerns you have.
With love and hope,

Bonnie Kaye

1 comment:

Victoria Strauss said...

For more information on the Martha Ivery case, see the Writer Beware website.