I wrote last month about the strange figure who appeared to be stealing manuscripts before their publication, seemingly without motive.
The FBI have now made an arrest:
“On Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Filippo Bernardini, a 29-year-old rights coordinator for Simon & Schuster UK, saying that he ‘impersonated, defrauded, and attempted to defraud, hundreds of individuals’ over five or more years, obtaining hundreds of unpublished manuscripts in the process.”
…but without yet gaining an understanding of why the books were stolen:
“For years, the scheme has baffled people in the book world. Works by high-profile writers and celebrities like Margaret Atwood and Ethan Hawke have been targeted, but so have story collections and works by first-time authors. When manuscripts were successfully stolen, none of them seemed to show up on the black market or the dark web. Ransom demands never materialized. Indeed, the indictment details how Mr. Bernardini went about the scheme, but not why.”