The book thief is a young Italian who in at least six years has defrauded world publishing by stealing more than a thousand manuscripts. The trial is expected for this April 2023
We are not talking about a story like the one told in Markus Zusak’s novel, but about a story that actually happened. For at least six years, a young man from the province of Terni has defrauded the publishing world by stealing more than mille online manuscripts; the book thief, arrested by the FBI already last year, pleaded guilty to the crimes charged against him by the New York prosecutor’s office. The sentence is expected on April 5, 2023. However, the motive for his actions is not yet clear, and it is suspected that the thief’s actions are attributable to simple personal satisfaction, as the manuscripts, after the thefts, were not disseminated on the internet and no ransom demands have been sent. The case of the book thief even made us think of a strategy to destabilize Western culture, but instead on January 5 the FBI stopped the young Umbrian at JFK airport in New Tork. The young man declared himself fully aware of the actions taken.
Book thief – a proven technique
The young man’s modus operandi started fromimpersonation of various well-known figures in the publishing world (publishers, publishers, authors themselves at times), through whose identity and fake email addressesi -there are at least 160 of them, with only small typing errors to differentiate them from the authentic ones- managed to obtain the texts before publication. The ability of the book thief undoubtedly also stemmed from his knowledge of the sector, as a former employee in the publishing world. Among the stolen manuscripts, titles by Margaret Atwood, Ethan Hawke, Stieg Larsson and Sally Rooney. Because of his modus operandi, the young man will have to answer for the crimes of digital fraud, theft of manuscripts and identity theft, three sentences that could cost him up to twenty years in prison.
We just have to wait for the trial to try to understand the motive for these thefts; behind them is there only the spasmodic desire to be the first to read books, or is there even more?
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