Man arrested at JFK Airport is accused of impersonating people in publishing industry to obtain unpublished manuscripts

Filippo Bernardini, 29, who is from London and works in the publishing industry, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. It was not immediately clear whether Bernardini has a lawyer.

In 2016, Bernardini allegedly began creating fake email accounts and registered more than 160 internet domains that were purposely designed to be confusingly similar to real entities, according to the indictment. Bernardini allegedly used minor typographical errors to create his fake accounts, making it difficult to identify the recipients.

“Filippo Bernardini allegedly posed as people in the publishing industry so that authors, including a Pulitzer Prize winner, would send him prepublication manuscripts for their own benefit,” said Damian Williams, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in a press release.

“We allege that Mr. Bernardini used his insider knowledge of the industry to get the authors to send him their unpublished books and texts,” said Michael J. Driscoll, deputy director in charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. .

“Such piracy can also undermine secondary markets for published work, such as film and television, and can damage an author’s reputation when an initial draft of written material is distributed in a form of work that is not in a finished state. “says the statement. .

Bernardini was due to appear in Manhattan federal court Thursday.

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