February 2, 2008
Dear Airleaf Victims and Friends,
As of today, we have 391 members in our Airleaf Victims group. Each week, more people are finding us as they try to call Airleaf or check their website only to find they have vanished.
Earlier in the week, I spoke to Detective Buskirk. He is moving along with the case, and as of the time of our conversation, he had 256 official complaints from our group. He is preparing his case to present to the federal agencies which can bring criminal charges against the people from Airleaf who have victimized us. I am hoping that we will see some concrete results this month. He is also trying to arrange times when authors who want to pick up their files and books can do so and hopes that will happen shortly. Hang in, and I’ll keep you posted.
Yesterday, I spoke with Tom Irons from the Attorney General’s office. Tom is a very nice man who took over the case from Terry Tolliver after Tolliver left several months ago. Until that point, the incoming complaint files were just being compiled by paralegal Raven Bobbio, but it appears nothing more than that happened in the interim. After having my second in-depth conversation with Tom, I realized that regardless of how strong of a case we currently have (he told me new complaints are still coming in each week from our group), there is nothing very meaningful that his office can do at this time. In as much as the AG’s office can only bring civil charges, and in view of the fact that Airleaf is now shut down thanks to our efforts, his office is somewhat at a loss of taking meaningful action. He went through all of the steps that their office would have to go through to get to get to court with Carl Lau, and it sounds very overwhelming as far as getting us real results.
And so we will have to put our faith in the federal agencies such as the FBI, Postal Inspector, and US Attorney in Indiana for getting meaningful resolve. I did explain to him that I hold the AG’s office responsible for allowing things to get to this point since they were aware of our situation and sat on it for so long. The AG’s office was aware of Airleaf last year when they made settlement with two other authors, issued them a warning as I’ve mentioned in an earlier update, and sat on it when our complaints started coming in to them. Since the AG’s office is responsible for consumer fraud, I contend that it was their responsibility to protect us. If they could have put an injunction against Airleaf until our issues were resolved, many of our victims who were taken after August when our complaints started flowing in could have been saved. In the days ahead, I will be asking for accountability of that agency with other government officials who oversee that office.
I’m sure if Tom were there during our tribulations, he would have been very responsive, but he started in this job too late. However, he is going to pursue whatever action he can for us, and he is working to organize a case from the complaints that have been filed to see if he can put together a civil complaint for restitution for us. I will check back with him next month to see how he is progressing.
I recently asked the group if you have documentation about the “Hollywood Pitches” that Airleaf charge you for to take your books to Hollywood. Seven of you saved the information that was sent to you with the report and mailed me copies to compare. It was no surprise that they were the standard printed letters that I expected to find. I’d like to share this with you.
First—here was the confirmation to authors:
This agreement is for the “Face to Face Hollywood” program, where your book will be discussed in meetings set with Hollywood producers.
Per our agreement we will create a “Film Treatment” of your book and have at least 5 face to face meetings with different producers, promoting it for feature film, direct to video, or TV.
Also per our agreement you will receive updates after the interviews with the producer’s company name, and dates of the presentations.
Thank you for your business,
Carl Lau, President, Airleaf Publishing
Well, it didn’t look like the “5 face to face meetings” ever happened, but here are the results of the “Face to Face Hollywood” program sent out to the authors.
All of the form letters were dated either June 7 or June 8, 2007.
The producers that I met with this time in the representation of your books are as follows:
Al Smith – Lite-stone Entertainment
Brad Hong – Cinemagic Entertainment
Cliff Miracle – Capstone Productions
I met with these people privately so I had plenty of time to thoroughly discuss, the overview of your film idea. I have received commitments for 6 different children’s books for “direct to video” production, as a direct result from those meetings. This is very exciting, and as of yet I have not been told of any rejections, which is also good news!
If you look on our website, you will see over 20 books that we have movie commitments for. When I present to other producers and tell them that we have “X” amount of said commitments, they take us seriously and pay attention to what we have.
I have already seen this and use it to our advantage. For the last 2 years we have worked very hard to get a movie made. We knew that once we did, each one after that would be easier to get done.
We do see that happening and hopefully yours too will soon find itself in that mix. These producers and filmmakers know of your books. If we hear anything, you’ll be the second to know.
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to pitch your film idea. I will be going back for follow up in a little over a month. Feel free to let me know if you need anything.
Carl Lau, President, Airleaf LLC
(I have reprinted the letters exactly—not cleaning up the poor grammar skills of Carl Lau)
Now, if I were one of the victims who paid for this service, I would have felt very excited—as you all did. There was no way for you to know that this was a fraudulent set-up. This is where Lite Stone Entertainment falls into my conspiracy theory because they put up their website listing 20 Airleaf books in production or pre-production. Those were the 20 of you who believed you really had a chance after getting your books made into a movie. This gave more false hope for those of you who started investing in the Hollywood promotions. You were seeing actual Airleaf authors whose books were in production or pre-production—and you believed with the excellent marketing of Airleaf’s sales team that yours could be the next big hit. You were told that Jessie’s Girl was an Airleaf book being made into a major film—and the trailer for the film was at the top of the Airleaf website to make you believe that this could happen to you. You were duped by the best.
We all know the Lite Stone story. And the Cinemagic Story is well…magic—here today, gone tomorrow. Carl Lau hooked up with Brad Hung from Japan’s Cinemagic at one of these gatherings. The “magic” about Brad Hung is that he disappeared, never to be seen again except on the Airleaf website sitting with a few of our authors. That was the most visible he was in this country.
Then there was Cliff Miracle of Capstone Productions. I’ve tried researching this with no luck at all. I did find a Capstone Productions on the Internet and explained our situation. Their representative was kind enough to write back:
Good morning. There are a number of Capstone production companies out there, but we’ve never been involved with any movie making. We specialize in TV and radio commercials and corporate videos. Feel free to call or write if you have any further questions.
COO, Capstone Production Group
So if any of you have a clue how to find Cliff Miracle at Capstone, please let me know because I’d like to have a chat with him--if he really does exist. And that would truly be a “miracle.”
Each week, I send a copy of this update to various government officials. It has been brought to my attention that others also check this weekly update in our blog. It is important for us to keep telling the stories to pressure the authorities to take action. When you have a chance, please check out our blog. Here is the link:
BLOG LINK: Airleaf Victims
At the bottom of the blog there is a place for you to post comments. These comments are read by the people following our case—government officials, former Airleaf employees, and of course, Carl Lau. It’s important to start voicing your feelings when you have a chance. If you are willing to share your stories in this update, this is important as well to let others know they are not alone in being taken by Airleaf.
Next week, I’ll be sending you a questionnaire to fill out so I can systematically put all of this together to help the legal authorities in an organized manner. It is important for us to keep up the momentum as we move along. We don’t want the Airleaf fraudulence to be an issue that is overlooked or underrated as far as a priority. We must keep up our pressure on the federal agencies so that we can seek justice for the hundreds, if not thousands, of victims that are out there. And when this does get to trial, I look forward to meeting some of you as we celebrate our success.
Please feel free to write to me with any questions or concerns.
With love and hope,