Saturday, January 12, 2008

January 12, 2008

January 12, 2008

Dear Airleaf Victims and Friends,

First, I’d like to welcome our new group members. We now have 358 members in our Airleaf Victims family which grows daily. There are many sad stories of victims who have suffered from the anguish of broken Airleaf promises and contracts.

Before I give you the news for the week, I am in the process of working on our publicity campaign. I have some interest from NY FOX. I’ve asked you in the past if you would be interested in participating in a story, and I have a few of you who have agreed to do this. If any other people are from the NY, NJ, or CT area and you would be willing to participate, please email me at In the next week, I will let you know if this will proceed. Also, I am looking for people in Indiana who are willing to do publicity about their experiences with Airleaf. If you live in Indiana and you are willing, please let me know.

I have a local CBS affiliate in Philadelphia who is interested in the story, so if you live in the Philadelphia or surround areas and you are willing to participate, please contact me. It’s time for us to move ahead with bringing media attention to our cause.

And speaking of that, if you haven’t sent your request in to Oprah to help our Airleaf victims, please fill this form out. The more letters her producers receive, the more they will think about doing our story.


On Wednesday, I received a call from Tom Irons, the new Assistant Attorney General in Indiana who has taken over our case. Many of you received letters from Raven Bobbio, paralegal, who was compiling the case. The created a major source of frustration for me on a personal level. Once Terry Tolliver left back in November, Raven was the contact person. I left messages for her several times, but never received a return phone call. Tom said on his message that he is now in charge of the case, and that he would reconnect with me after he had a chance to go through things.

I decided not to wait until that time and called him on Friday. He was very helpful, courteous, and understanding of our frustrations. He wasn’t very familiar with all of the specifics of our case, but he had read our Airleaf Victims website and blog, so he had an indication of the depth of the problem. When I spoke to him, he had just gotten off the phone with Detective Jeff Buskirk who was giving him some of the details of our case.

After speaking to him for nearly an hour, I had a much better understanding of how the government of Indiana plays out in this situation. Tom explained that the AG’s office can only go after someone for civil charges—not criminal charges. They have the power to ask for restitution when there is money that can be restored. At this point of time with Airleaf closed, it’s an involving process discovering assets, and we as a group may need to decide if we want to do something along those lines. If any of you are involved in this kind of legal, financial, or detective work and can lend a hand, please let me know.

I explained our frustration in this matter with AG’s office since they have been very unresponsive to us as a group. I told him that I hold their office responsible for allowing this company to continue in view of the problems that arose last year when an AVC or Assurance of Voluntary Compliance was issued to Airleaf. An AVC, according to the website of Steve Carter, AG of Indiana is:

An agreement reached between the State and one or more respondents stipulating the conditions under which the respondent(s) will conduct business in the future. An AVC may require the defendant(s) to pay consumer restitution and investigative costs to the attorney general’s office. The document is filed with the court but is not an admission of guilt or liability for any legal offense. The State has a legal right to go back to court if information becomes available that the defendant is not abiding by the terms of the AVC.

This happened to Airleaf on May 25, 2007. Two authors appealed to the AG’s office to help them, and they won. I’ve read through the document, and according to the decision, I cut and pasted some of the major points:

The terms of this Assurance apply to and are binding upon the Respondent, its employees, agents, representatives, successors, and assigns.

The Respondent acknowledges the jurisdiction of the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General to investigate matters hereinafter described, pursuant to the authority of the Indiana Code.

The Respondent, in soliciting and/or contracting with consumers, agrees to refrain from representing, either orally or in writing, the subject of a consumer transaction has sponsorship, approval, performance, characteristics, accessories, uses, or benefits it does not have, which the Respondent knows or reasonably should know it does not have.

The Respondent, in soliciting and/or contracting with consumers, agrees to refrain from representing, either orally or in writing, a consumer will be able to purchase an item as advertised by the Respondent, if the Respondent does not intend to sell it.

The Respondent shall fully cooperate with the Office of the Attorney General in the resolution of any future written complaints the Consumer Protection Division receives. This shall include, but is not limited to, the Respondent promptly resolving any additional valid consumer complaints brought to the Respondent's attention by the Office of the Attorney General, either prior to, or after the filing of, this Assurance with the Court.

The Respondent, in soliciting and/or contracting with consumers, agrees to fully comply with the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, Ind. Code Upon execution of this Assurance, the Respondent shall pay consumer restitution, in the total amount of Six Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine Dollars

($6,999.00), to the Office of the Attorney General for allocation and distribution to the following consumers in the following amounts:

(a) John L. Kostoryz of Kansas City, Missouri $5,500.00; and
(b) John K. Phillips of Baton Rouge, Louisiana $1,499.00.
Total: $6,999.00

Upon execution of this Assurance, the Respondent shall pay costs in the amount of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to the Office of the Attorney General. The Respondent shall fully cooperate with the Office of the Attorney General in the resolution of any future written complaints the Consumer Protection Division receives. This shall include, but is not limited to, the Respondent promptly resolving any additional valid consumer complaints brought to the Respondent's attention by the Office of the Attorney General, either prior to, or after the filing of, this Assurance with the Court.

I explained to Tom that we felt very angry that this order had been issued last May by THEIR office. They never followed through with it even though over 100 complaints have been processed.

I know that many more of you have sent in complaints to the AG’s office, but this is how their government works.

1. I filed a complaint online in August 2007.

2. I received written verification in September from the AG’s office and was asked to sign the online form. I sent it back immediately.

3. In December 10, 2007, I received a letter from Stephanie Medina in the AG’s office telling me that the letter confirms the receipt of the information I sent back, but says they are unable to process the complaint with the information submitted, and that now, I have to fill out another complaint form if my ICCC complaint has not been resolved. This is another long form with the same information as the original form filed in August. Why didn’t they just tell me this in September?

4. On December 31, 2007, I received a letter from paralegal Raven Bobbio stating that they have received my complaint and forwarded it to Airleaf. The form letter says, “I ask for your patience as our office attempts to mediate your complaint. We must allow a reasonable amount of time for Airleaf to reply.”

There is something really wrong here. In the five months since my initial complaint was filed along with a number of our early victims, many new people were defrauded. In as much as the AG’s office issued the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance in May, they should have immediately responded as soon as one more complaint was filed. I hold this office responsible for their negligence on acting on behalf of our victims who followed all of their rules but still had no help in stopping the criminal actions of Airleaf.

This proves to me more than ever that Carl Lau is truly a sociopath. The man believes he is “above the law.” Even when given directives to stop his unlawful business practices which I have highlighted in red for you, he continued even bigger and better to violate the rules. When his production department completely shut down in November, and there was not a printer in sight that would work with him because he owed out so much money, he continued to have publishing and promotional packages sold to unsuspecting victims. Let’s go back to the first part of the document also stated that:

The terms of this Assurance apply to and are binding upon the Respondent, its employees, agents, representatives, successors, and assigns.

This means that any person who worked for Airleaf who knowingly sold to you when they knew there was no way to deliver the promises is also legally responsible for violating this agreement. I plan to see what civil charges can be brought against those employees who are guilty, and I will keep you posted.

Tom Irons also explained that the federal agencies are the ones that need to bring the criminal charges. These are the FBI and Postal Inspector, so it’s vital that you fill out those forms.

Last week, I sent you the link to the postal forms. Some of you wrote to me and said that you didn’t save the documentation that Airleaf sent you. For those of you who don’t have the documentation, you can fill out an easy online complaint that only takes a few moments. Every complaint strengthens our case. Please drop me a note after you complete this step.

POSTAL ONLINE COMPLAINTS Here’s the link to the postal online form:

On Friday, I received a letter from Senator Lugar’s office. It stated that the Senator works with constituents from his state of Indiana, but they have sent my concerns to the Senator in my state of Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, and I should be hearing from his office soon. Thanks, Senator Lugar. I appreciate the referral—NOT! I called Senator Specter’s office to give them a heads up, and had a nice conversation with a representative. We both agreed that Pennsylvania has no jurisdiction over the business dealings in Indiana. My office would be happy to send a request to the Indiana AG’s office on my behalf, and I will take that step just to follow protocol, but I know it won’t have any effect whatsoever. So once again, the government of Indiana is ignoring the pleas for help from victims of a company in their state. Is it any accident that so many Print-on-Demand publishing houses are located there?

Here’s an update on iUniverse back-in-print. A number of you contacted them after THEY contacted me soliciting our authors for their back-in-print package for $299.00. It sounded like a reasonable solution for many of our authors who wanted to keep their books in print. Then this week, one of our authors informed me that iUniverse would not do the reprints unless they received a letter from Airleaf stating there is a reversion of rights. They said the company could have sold off the rights to other companies causing legal issues. Get everyone together with a petition for a reversion of rights because they were a suspicious company and they are not sure if the authors still owned their rights. I spoke to Kaitlin at iUniverse on Thursday about the problem. She researched it for me and left me a message suggesting that we get a petition together and ask the Attorney General to provide this information for us. I will call her back on Monday to discuss how we have in our contracts that we retain the rights to our book and see if that changes anything. We all know what will happen if you have to wait for the Attorney General to act on our behalf, so I don’t want to go that route. However, if any of you would like to call Carl Lau and ask him to provide that statement for you, feel free to do so. His information is:
Carl Lau, 846 Burwick Trcem, Greenwood, IN 46143-1910 Phone: (317) 889-6063.
Kaitlin also stated you could pay more money for their new publishing package and publish your book as a “second edition.” I decided to pass that on to you, but I am not suggesting it because there are companies that are more reasonable to work with than iUniverse for regular publishing packages.

I wanted to share some information with you from our fellow author Anthony Laurento. Tony has written a children’s book. He paid Airleaf over $5,000.00 for publishing, illustrations, and promotions. Now he has decided to take control over his own project and get it done on his own. He explained the process he used to find an illustrator. Some of you have written to me that you have the same issue of finding an illustrator for your books. I asked Tony to fill us in on how he found his illustrator.

Hi Bonnie,

The website is

It is free and a very easy step-by-step program after you register and post your project. The whole bidding process took about 10 days and you can alter the time for the bidding as well as stipulate many parameters, including only local Illustrators or no international companies, and you ask for the price that you want to pay. All of the contracts go through Elance, and any changes between you and the illustrator go through Elance. I really enjoyed the process. The illustration company that I chose was called Deskcube, but it was a tough decision after I got down to the final 3. At least I felt in control the entire time, unlike with Airleaf.

I want to thank Tony for sharing this information, and if any of you have other suggestions that can help authors, please feel free to let me know.

With love and hope,
Bonnie Kaye

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Airleaf Victims & Supporters

January 5, 2008

Dear Airleaf Victims and Supporters,

First, let me wish you all a happy New Year filled with health, happiness, and success. As the New Year of 2008 begins, we have gained an impressive new number of Airleaf Victims this week. We are now at 348 victims and growing daily. Welcome to all of our new members. You are part of a wonderful group of people who are seeking justice against Carl Lau, the owner of Airleaf, which includes restitution of our money that we invested and criminal charges for the fraudulence perpetrated on us.

This week, I had a very excellent conversation with the US Postal Inspection agency in Washington D.C. They were distressed when I told them about our plight, and very receptive. The postal inspectors can pursue criminal charges for interstate mail fraud. But this is something that requires you to take a few moments to do.

The postal form applies to people who received any mail through Airleaf via the mail, not email. Most of you have told me that you received mail from them such as promotional advertisements or your contracts through the mail. If you saved a copy of the advertisements or your contract, please print out this postal form and send it to the address listed on the second page. You will also need to include copies of any mail that you have saved. If you don’t have the envelope it came in, don’t worry about it—send what you have. To help you in this process, I am attaching a “cheat sheet” for you to print out where I will tell you line by line what to fill in.
The link for the post office form:

Post office Link:

This link will take you to the form that you need to PRINT OUT on your printer. There are 3 pages, but only the first two have information to be filled out. The reason for printing it out instead of doing it online is that you have to send in the hard-copy with the advertisements or contracts you received in the mail. If you have trouble doing this or don’t have a printer, please write to me and I will print it out for you and either help you fill it out and send it to you to sign or send it directly to you with the directions to fill it out. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STEP, so please take the few moments to do it. If the post office receives at least 10 complaints, they will most likely open an investigation through the Indiana postal inspector. Think what 100 complaints will do! Please let me know if you take this important step so I can track it by writing to me at

Also, please make sure you take the important step I asked for last week if you haven’t done so by now. I need the city and state where you live so I can compile a database for future political or press actions for us. Just hit “reply” to this email and send me that information.

For those of you who are still willing, I listed the Oprah link last week. This is important because Oprah’s producers need to receive a lot of requests from us to bring this issue to light on her show. I think it’s important for her to put pressure on the state of Indiana since we haven’t had much luck. And who knows—maybe she’ll help us with our books. You don’t know until you ask. If you do this, please send me a note letting me know you did it so I can compile the numbers

Oprah Link: OPRAH LINK

Now I will share some interesting news of the week.
From Detective Buskirk on 1/04/07:

Hi Bonnie, Have no idea why you were having problems with email. I was getting dozens all vacation. Have a couple of hundred in regards to Airleaf. (Several of our authors had written to me that the email wasn’t going through, so I forwarded it to Detective Buskirk)

I am going to be allowed to continue the case so I will be trying to wrap things up in next month or so. Hoping to present the attorney an itemized list I got from each author early next week.

Hang in there, may be good news within the month.


I thought this was excellent news for us.

Since Martinsville now has a new mayor, I wrote him a letter on Thursday. It said:

Dear Mayor Deckard,

First, let me wish you congratulations on your re-new job, as well as a Happy New Year.

My name is Bonnie Kaye, and I am the organizer of Airleaf Victims which can be seen at I didn't want to bother you prior to the time you took office, but now that you are in, I am hoping that you will help us.

There are presently close to 350 victims, which grow daily, who are part of my group who have been fraudulently victimized by Carl Lau and Airleaf Publishing who was operating in your city. Even though the company has closed, there are numerous problems associated with this closing which include the return of people's manuscripts, galleys, disks, and books. In addition, since I estimate the fraud to be at least one million dollars at this point, we are looking to see what criminal charges will be pressed and how soon we can expect to see that happen.

We have been patiently working with Jeff Buskirk in pursuing this investigation since August. I understand that he has been reassigned, so I would appreciate it if you can give me an update that I can share with my worried victims about the status of our case and who will be handling it. Also, can you advise me who the prosecutor that will be handling this case?

We are on the verge of getting national publicity on this story, and I would like to give you a chance to give me an accurate update of what is being done and when we can expect the results. Please understand that there are many frustrated people whose lives have been destroyed through this company. I am sorry that this has taken place in your city and that you, as mayor, are now faced with resolving this problem, but you are our main hope at this point of time.

Please feel free to email me at or call me at either my home at 215-288-6959 or my cell phone at 215-498-2229.

I am attaching a compilation of my weekly updates from August until the present time. I'll include you on my weekly update list that comes out on Saturdays so you can keep up with our news.

Thank you in advance for coming to our aid.
Bonnie Kaye, M.Ed.
Airleaf Victims

I didn’t want the new mayor to think that we are going to stop our campaign just because Airleaf is closed down. I haven’t received a response as of today, but if I receive one this week, I’ll share it with you in my new update.

Ron Hawkins, our reporter friend from the Martinsville Reporter, did an update story in the paper on 12/29/07. I took excerpts to share with you since a lot of the article revolved around Detective Buskirk’s comments last week which you have already read.

Excerpts from an article in the Martinsville Reporter 12/29/07

Martinsville-based vanity publisher Airleaf Publishing and Book Selling has gone out of business, but author Bonnie Kaye says that was only one part of her agenda in drawing attention to the business.Carl Lau, who had been the owner of Airleaf, acknowledged last week that his controversial printing and marketing business had closed down. Additionally in an e-mail, Martinsville Police Department Detective Jeff Buskirk informed unhappy Airleaf customers who'd contacted him that the business was shutting down.In a voice mail message seeking to arrange an interview, Lau referred to himself as being from "Airleaf or what was Airleaf, with a little help from you. I think it was on its way down, so maybe not."

In the same message, Lau said he thought the paper's coverage of his business was biased.
Kaye, the counselor and author who created, said the closing of Airleaf was just one of her three goals. Kaye also wants to see customers' money returned and for criminal charges to be filed against Airleaf, she said."We'll be using every resource we can get," Kaye said.The FBI office in Indianapolis has been contacted and agents there encouraged Airleaf victims to continue to file complaint forms, she said.

Although the authors might be able to get their books, it will probably be at a cost, according to Buskirk's e-mail. And Lau may be starting a new business or continuing an aspect of the old business.Buskirk's involvement in the case, however, might be over with Phil Deckard, who defeated incumbent Mayor Shannon Buskirk in the May GOP primary, being sworn in as mayor Monday afternoon. Jeff and Shannon Buskirk are brothers.Deckard said Thursday that Jeff Buskirk hasn't been informed about his future as a detective. Deckard was scheduled to meet Thursday afternoon with Darrell Davis, who will become the new police chief, to discuss the matter, he said.Deckard said his administration will follow up on ongoing investigations.That could include the possibility that Lau may still be marketing a books to film business. As part of the package sold to some authors, Airleaf offered to pitch books to film executives.

Kaye and others have questioned whether this ever happened, but Lau said it was a real service Airleaf provided.In an e-mail to the Reporter-Times, Buskirk wrote, "He advised he was still talking to people about the Hollywood promotions."Multiple attempts before and after Christmas were made to contact Lau after he left a second message, but those calls weren't returned.

Let’s go back to the sentence that says, “And Lau may be starting a new business or continuing an aspect of the old business.”

I often use a saying with the women whom I counsel that goes like this:

“If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…it’s a duck, not a goose.”

So it shouldn’t shock you when I give you this latest news revealed by one of our Airleaf Victims. Bob Denton, former Airleaf employee that had a variety of jobs ranging from shipping clerk to salesman, has now opened his own publishing business. It’s called Mountain Valley Publishing LLC. And guess where it’s located? Right inside the Airleaf building at 35 Industrial Drive in Martinsville, Indiana. You can see his new site at There you will see one (1) book listed, although I’m sure that soon you will see more books from unsuspecting Airleaf Victims who don’t know what’s going on with Airleaf. I found this totally AMAZING. The one book that is presently up there states: CLICK HERE TO ORDER (We will not ask for your payment information via the Internet. Please include your name and telephone number in the body of the e-mail.)

And when you click it, up comes Bob’s email address:

Now, if something doesn’t smell rotten in the state of Indiana, then you’ve lost your sense of smell. Bob Denton is now a publisher all on his own! AMAZING! And I thought he was enjoying his unemployment benefits after leaving Airleaf, while in fact, he was setting up his new business!

Anyway, if you think that Bob isn’t working with Carl Lau, then you’ll end up being a victim once again. Learn from the past—because in Martinsville, Indiana, the past is the present.

One of our Airleaf Victims, my friend Jack Powell, author of The Art of Dying, will be featured on a program on the History Channel on Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 8 p.m. The two-hour special, called Hillbilly: The Real Story, hosted by celebrity Billy Ray Cyrus, brings these mythic people to life through stories that span 300 years. Outcast immigrants, war heroes, isolated backwoodsmen, hard working miners, fast moving moon shiners, religious warriors, musicians and statesmen make up the rugged cast of characters.

In Jack’s own words, “The show is about who pioneered America in the days when there was nothing but Appalachia regions and the mighty souls who braved the elements and hardships of America. There are several segments of moonshiners, revenuers, coal Miners, drug dealers, marijuana growers, and law enforcement efforts to curtail a multi-billion industry in an economically starved area of the country.” Jack is on throughout the show, but is featured in the last 30 minutes. He has 44 years of working in the field of law enforcement including as a policeman, revenuer, private investigator, and a deputy U.S. Marshall. In spite of having an extensive career in law enforcement, Jack is also an Airleaf Victim!

I mention his because so many people write to me saying how embarrassed they feel because they were caught up in this scam. I like to remind you that our victims come from all different walks of life including lawyers, doctors, and even an Indian chief! There are stock brokers, clergymen, counselors, psychologists, media personalities, reporters, government people, psychics, educators, blue collar workers, and retirees. Don’t feel ashamed. You were taken in by the best of professional con people. Just try not to make the same mistake twice! Remember the ducks and the goose!

With love and hope,

Bonnie Kaye

Bob Denton, Mountain Valley Publishing, LLC

Dear Airleaf Friends,

In the pursuit of printing the truth, I would like to share this information that Bob Denton has sent to me:

Hi Bonnie,
i don't know where you get your information, but , it is truely wrong . Yes i am in Martinsville,In , but my address is not the same as Airleaf, nor is it in the same building. I have started my business in my home. That Address is 1420 Maple Ct. , Martinsville, In 46151. I think you should get your facts straight before you go putting FALSE information on this blog. This company was in fact started with a author who was caught up in the very problem you have addressed since August of this year. So who ever is giving you information, i would be checking them out. And no, i did not draw unemployment, because i QUIT my job. In so doing, you do not get to enjoy the benifets of unemployment. I think you have been feed some bad information by some people who were out to see the company destroyed, and that they have done just that. You were told that you had sold THOUSANDS of books, when in fact you had only sold a few hundred books. So you set out on this crusade to destroy Airleaf, and you have done that. Now if you or any of the authors in your group would like to call me, my number is 765-349-8908. I will gladly send you the LLC . I know you probably won't post this on your web blog, because it doesn't go with your cause. Thank you for your time.

Bob Denton
Mountain Valley Publishing,LLC

I responded to Bob Denton with this note:

Dear Bob,
Of course I'll reprint your letter with the correct information next week. I was never told that I sold "thousands" of books, nor do I ever claim to have sold thousands of books. I am not working with anyone to destroy Airleaf except for the hundreds of authors who have been defrauded. And if you want to tell me that they are all making up stories, well, what can I say? If you would like to have an honest dialogue, I am always open to that.

Bonnie The only thing I'll retract is the location of the new business. I'll keep you posted as I investigate that further.
Bonnie Kaye