As far back as July of 2015, WritersWeekly.com has been posting complaints about Tate Publishing. And, things have gone WAY downhill since then!
The publishing industry was rocked (and many authors were ELATED!) last week when warrants were issued by Oklahoma Judge Jack McCurdy for the arrests of Richard Tate, the Founder of Tate Publishing and Tate Music Group, and his son, Ryan Tate, the CEO. They were apprehended the same day. They’ve been charged with nine felony counts of embezzlement, extortion and racketeering each, as well as misdemeanor charges.
You can read more at the following links:
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said, “The means by which Ryan and Richard Tate conducted business to defraud individuals from across the country is unconscionable and a blatant disregard for those who entrusted them to produce their work.”
And, the Tates call themselves Christians. Pppfffftttt!!! More on that below.
As many of you know from our past coverage of Tate Publishing’s shady dealings, and ultimate (and expected) demise, they were accused of failing to pay royalties, and accepting money for services that were never performed – right up until they closed their doors. We speculate (but, of course, can’t prove) that they knew they were going under, but kept collecting money for services anyway, perhaps padding their pockets on the way out the door? On a Facebook page set up for victims of Tate Publishing, I let the authors know that accepting money for services you never intend to perform is a crime. Many authors were assuming they’d have to file civil cases against the firm. I predicted they’d be arrested. And, they were. When you charge people for services just weeks or days before you close your doors, suspicions mount.
– Non-payment of author royalties dating back months
– Services not provided and book orders not fulfilled, even after authors paid thousands
– Money received by authors was being funneled into the Tate’s personal accounts, and being used for casinos, etc.
– Since royalties weren’t being paid, it’s believed the money received from booksellers and distributors for book sales was not being distributed to authors but, rather, was being funneled into the Tate’s personal accounts.
– When they closed their doors, Tate posted statements on their website saying authors could pay them $50 for copies of their files (files those authors had already paid Tate to create!). In order to get those files, authors were also required to sign a contract stating: “I agree to indemnify and hold harmless Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC and its subsidiaries, officers, executives, employees, and any such heirs they may have. I understand that termination of these agreements does not entitle me to any refund or monetary compensation whatsoever.”
So, authors had to pay $50 AND waive their rights to any refund or future legal action just to, again, get copies of files they’d already paid Tate THOUSANDS to create.
“Embezzlement is the act of withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of such assets, by one or more persons to whom the assets were entrusted, either to be held or to be used for specific purposes.” (Wikipedia)
If Tate was accepting money for book sales from Ingram (the largest book distributor) and retailers, and eventually funneling that money into their personal bank accounts instead of paying their authors’ royalties, that would likely be embezzlement.
If Tate was taking money from authors for services they didn’t intend to perform and, instead of hiring/paying professionals to perform those services, was funneling that money into their personal bank accounts, that, too, would likely be embezzlement.
If Tate was taking money from authors to print copies of their books and, rather than printing those books, funneling that money into their personal bank accounts instead, that would likely be embezzlement.
If Tate refused to send an author a justified refund and, instead, funneled that author’s money into a personal bank account would likely be embezzlement.
“Extortion (also called shakedown, outwrestling and exaction) is a criminal offense of obtaining money, property, or services from an individual or institution, through coercion. It is sometimes euphemistically referred to as a ‘protection racket’ since the racketeers often phrase their demands as payment for ‘protection’ from (real or hypothetical) threats from unspecified other parties.” (Wikipedia)
When Tate told authors they needed to pay $50 to get copies of their files, or they could instead have their files destroyed, that was (allegedly) extortion. The fact that Tate also made authors complete a contract stating they wouldn’t sue Tate, and that Tate didn’t owe them any refunds, before they could get copies of their files made their actions even worse. In fact, it seems that should be a whole other criminal charge…but I’m no lawyer.
“Pattern of Racketeering Activity” is “obtaining or extorting money illegally or carrying on illegal business activities.”
In a nutshell, this means fraud.
THEY’RE CHRISTIANS? REALLY?!?!
What makes this case even more despicable is that Tate Publishing strongly touted itself as a Christian organization, using it on their advertising, and even putting Bible quotes on the copyright pages of books it published. “Christians” don’t typically embezzle, extort, or racketeer so I, personally, think the whole “Christian” label may have been a ruse to get authors to sign up with Tate Publishing, implying a false sense of security. But, that’s just my opinion. I’m a Christian, too, but I don’t use my faith to promote my business. I really don’t think God wants his flock using his name to make money.
WHO ELSE HAS SUED TATE?
The following civil cases have been filed against Tate Publishing and/or it’s owners:
Case # CJ-2016-263 –
XEROX v. TATE PUBLISHING AND ENTERPRISES LLC, AND RYAN TATE
Ryan Tate was ordered to pay $450,308.18 + 9% interest per annum. (New filings list the amount as $514,345.53.)
Tate Publishing was ordered to pay $1,446,070.67 + 9% interest per annum. (New filings list the amount as $1,617,363.91.)
A summary judgment for $1,896,137.67 was issued after Tate failed to respond to discovery. That judgment is HERE .
INTERESTING TO NOTE ABOUT THE XEROX CASE:
BancFirst submitted an affidavit to the court under a garnishment summons stating the bank account in question has a balance of only $180.13.
Hmmm… Where did the thousands they collected from authors go?
Case # 5:17-cv-00050 – Breach of Contract
LIGHTNING SOURCE VS. Ryan Tate, Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC
Read the initial complaint HERE.
A default judgment was entered for Lightning for $1.8 million due to “lack of response” from Tate Publishing.
Case # CJ-2006-35 – PROPERTY DAMAGE
ALBERT J TESIO, WILLIAM TAYLOR JR. AND DAMON CANTRELL, D/B/A T.C.T. DEVELOPMENT V.
RYAN TATE, RITA TATE, RICHARD TATE AND FAMILY SOLUTIONS PUBLISHING INC.
Tate was accused of “knowingly, willfully and recklessly causing severe damage” to property they rented. Tate agreed to pay the plaintiff $15,000.
You can see the judgment HERE.
Case # No. CJ-2015-682 – BREACH OF CONTRACT
BAT-ZION SUSSKIND-SACKS V. TATE PUBLISHING & ENTERPRISES LLC, RYAN TATE INDIVIDUALLY, AND
RICHARD TATE, INDIVIDUALLY
An author paid them $11,970.00. Last update was for Tate’s attorneys withdrawing from the case. (I guess they didn’t get their money, either!)
Read the detailed allegations HERE.
Case # SC-2016-638 – “FAILURE TO DISCLOSE INTENTIONS”
(Incidentally, the judge in this case is the same one who issued the arrest warrants against the Tates last week.)
BRAZELL CARTER II, Plaintiff, v. RICHARD TATE, MARK MINGLE, TATE PUBLISHING,
Tate was sued for $4158.00.
Case was dismissed because “service of process” was not made upon the defendants within 180 days of the filing.
No. SC-2017-212 – Failure to refund monies paid.
MIKE SMITH, Plaintiff,
A) RICHARD TATE,
B) RITA TATE,
C) RYAN TATE,
D) TATE PUBLISHING & ENTERPRISES,
After the Tates failed to appear in court, they were ordered to pay the plaintiff $900 plus court costs.
You can see the judgment HERE.
And, Tate Publishing also allegedly owes more than $100,000 to its laid off employees in the Philippines.
SO, WHAT’S NEXT?
Richard and Ryan Tate are due back in court in June. The court ordered them to turn over their passports so maybe they won’t flee. Many are wondering how they managed to post bail. We assume they had to borrow it. Do they have assets somewhere that would serve as collateral for that high bail amount? Their victims would love to know about those assets!
We predict that there will, of course, be many more charges filed against them. The initial charges listed above only cover a handful of victims. There are reportedly around 800 more!
We also predict there will be additional arrests. Any spouse, family member, or employee/contractor of Tate Publishing that participated in illegal activities, supported them, or failed to report them deserves to be behind bars, too.
We’ll be watching!!
WHAT CAN TATE AUTHORS DO?
Please CLICK HERE if you want to get your book back on the market FAST.
According to a copy of an email from Richard Tate, which was allegedly sent to some Tate authors shortly after he was bailed out of jail, Tate is now allowing authors to order copies of their books, as well as promotional materials. Hmmm. Seems like the Tates have found a way to keep money coming in for their legal fees!
What author in their right mind would send even MORE money to a company that has (allegedly!) committed all of these crimes?! I definitely do NOT trust these people!
What’s sad is that so many authors may have failed to research Tate’s reputation before signing on with them, or perhaps just ignored all the bad press. That’s never a good idea! There have been numerous complaints about Tate posted online over the years. Some of those are in the links below.
BookLocker Has a Fantastic Offer for Victims of Defunct Tate Publishing (and other firms)! Move to BookLocker for as little as $78! (And, get your book back on the market in as little as 2 weeks.)
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela lives on a 52' Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch (sailboat) with her family and pets. Keep up with her family's adventurous liveaboard lifestyle at GotNoTanLines.com
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