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In Boca, Even the Book Publishers Are Fraud Suspects

Robert Fletcher, a literary agent and publisher said to be based in Boca Raton, has been named as a scammer by a group called Writer Beware, which protects authors against being cheated in the publishing industry. Publishers Weekly is reporting that Fletcher, who sued Writer Beware for defamation in 2008, has dropped his case. From that article:

Writer Beware had been receiving complaints about Fletcher and his holdings--which include a literary agency, editorial services provider, self-publishing company and book marketing firm--since 2001. According to the complaints, Fletcher's literary agency claimed not to charge authors, but then it billed clients for editing, critiques, entry into a database and other "services." The complaints also said Strategic advertised that it was a "traditional publisher" and implied that authors would not have to pay any fees, which the complaints said turned out not to be true. Writer Beware's "Alerts for Writers" section of its Web site ( warned countless writers of Fletcher's scams.
He walked away from his suit this March, but Writer Beware was still feeling frisky.

The group went after Fletcher for its legal bills and earlier this month, it won. Fletcher told Publisher's Weekly that he's published over a thousand authors and that he's upfront about the $895 fee. If so, then he should be able to afford whatever the legal bill comes to. And if not, then maybe his alleged 50 aliases can each chip in.

Fletcher is not the only Boca-based publisher who's earned the wrath of writers. Remember Howard Needle, the ex-con who ran Cravings Palm Beach? And there's not room on the internet to list all the investment scammers who worked out of Boca.

Seriously, if trust is truly the linchpin of a free market system, how does any business ever get done in Boca Raton? I'm sure the majority of you folks are honest, but given all the convicted and suspected fraudsters who set up shop there, can you blame a prospective customer or client who says "No thanks, I've heard too many bad things about companies from Boca"?

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Thomas Francis

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