The Oklahoma Attorney General's office has filed charges against the owners of a vanity publishing business for allegedly extorting its customers.
Attorney General Mike Hunter announced that Richard Tate and his son Ryan Tate, who run Tate Publishing and the Tate Music Group, have been charged with eight felonies and one misdemeanor, including counts of extortion, embezzlement and racketeering.
Authors and musicians who contracted with the Tates’ Mustang-based businesses have filed a total of 718 complaints with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit, saying that the businesses failed to deliver products after receiving payment, didn’t pay royalties and refused to return files unless customers paid a $50 fee.
Agents from the Consumer Protection Unit discovered that Ryan and Richard Tate had transferred money from book and music sales into personal checking accounts.
Canadian County sheriff’s deputies arrested the two suspects on Thursday morning. Bail is set at $100,000.
Frustrated customers and contractors have criticized Tate Publishing and Tate Music Group for months.The company lost a lawsuit filed by Xerox last month, alleging that Tate had never paid Xerox for leasing its equipment.
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