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Here’s a wild story about a publishing scam that includes Morgan Freeman and 9/11.

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May 14, 2021, 12:07pm

Ah, the month of May: the days are long, the weather is perfect for light jackets, and the trees are taking their revenge for climate change by blowing pollen directly into our sinuses. In short, summer is near. And lest you thought that the Summer of Scam ended with the announcement of two separate Anna Delvey adaptations, here’s a wild new story about another grifter—this one in the publishing world.

The Raleigh News & Observer reported yesterday that a woman named Christine Favara Anderson is in jail in Virginia, facing charges of wire and mail fraud. Anderson ran two publishing companies, Christine F. Anderson Publishing and Media, and Sage Wisdom, and is accused of withholding royalties from the authors who paid her to publish their books (including a “self-proclaimed afterlife expert,” who not only paid Anderson close to $1 million, but also communicated with author on her behalf).

In all, Anderson was charged with eight counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, one count of making a false statement and one count of concealing records in a federal investigation, but it’s her excuses for her nonpayment of royalties that make this a scam story for the ages. She told authors she couldn’t pay them because she was too busy hanging out with her friend Morgan Freeman, that she was working as a speechwriter for Trump’s White House, that she was “grief-stricken over the death of her [other] friend, Kobe Bryant,” and—my personal favorite—that she was “depressed about 9/11.”

Honestly, claiming that you can’t do your job because of your feelings about 9/11 generally—in the year of our Lord 2021—is my summer vibe.

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