Writers’ Beware is reporting that Martha Ivery, the vanity press scammer and fake literary agent, was sentenced today to nearly six years in Federal prison for bilking aspiring writers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars with her many swindles under various aliases (Kelly O’Donnell Literary Agency, Craig Roussan, PressTige Publishing, New Millenium Publishing House, etc.).
Martha’s lawyer had argued for probation rather than jail time,
pleading serious mental illness, but the prosecution’s psychiatrist,
while acknowledging that Martha is one majorly fucked-up lady, did not
agree that this prevented her from distinguishing right from wrong. The
judge, fortunately, saw it the prosecution’s way.
required to pay restitution to her victims (or, if they die, their
heirs), starting immediately, at the rate of 10% of everything she
earns or $100 per month, whichever is greater. Since the total
restitution amount is $728,248.10 (representing her "take" from nearly
300 victims), this is really more symbolic than anything else.
You can find a copy of her indictment here. Let’s hope this serves as a warning to all the other vanity press scammers out there (not that they are that hard to spot if you have an iota of common sense).
(Thanks to William Simon for the heads-up!)