Saturday, August 6, 2011

PublishAmerica Reported to the FBI

When I first went to bat for PubliSHAMErica authors, I intended to find out what it was like to be a PA author to see if the complaints were true. As it happened, I think I have been one of the most poorly treated of authors. The actions of PublishAmerica has now earned them a report filed with the FBI. That's right folks. Yesterday, I went to the Social Security office regarding the fact that PublishAmerica (Victor Cretella acting on the behalf of PublishAmerica) made my personal information public out of retaliation for having published a mult-part series of reports on the Maryland print on demand publisher.

Social Security informed me that they can and do change numbers via the Domestic Violence Act, but although what PublishAmerica did to me, certainly is abusive, it is not a domestic violence situation.

This looks like extortion and was urged by Social Security to file a complaint with the FBI's Cyber Crimes division, which I have done. I would love to share with you, the PDF file to demonstrate just how far these people will stoop. However, that would mean publishing my own personal information, which I cannot do.

PublishAmerica cannot make the argument that as an employee of the Examiner, that the news outlet would have my information already. The Examiner has no staff writers, we are all freelance reporters. Thus, I am not employed by them. Ihave never given them my personal information nor would I ever send an electronic submission containing my information. I am very well known and enjoy celebrity status. PublishAmerica was aware of that status and listed me on their website as one of their "celebrity authors."

They sent a cease and desist letter to the Examiner's webmaster (a third company) by way of their contact us form. Because I blew the whistle on their scams, they retaliated by sending in PDF format, my personally identifiable information, including my Social Security number to the Examiner which is the second largest media company in the country.

The release of my information violates even Pa's company policy, which they seem to violate to suit their own needs.

On Wednesday, May 20, 2009, about a year before the publication of my reports, I sent an urgent email to PublishAmerica. I wanted to see exactly what they were doing with the information of these authors and just how easily it could be for someone to write them and obtain information. I contacted PA to give them the heads up about a possible contact regarding my personal information, and my fear that that information could be made public.

This was their response:

From: PublishAmerica Author Support
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 9:42 AM

To: S. Darkness

Subject: Sinthyia Darkness: Privacy Policy

Dear Sinthyia Darkness: Thank you for your email updating us on your current situation. Per our privacy policy we will not provided {SIC}any of your information. Thank you,
PublishAmerica Support

Well, after my investigative reports were published in the Examiner news, Publish America decided to violate their own above mentioned company privacy policy. A C and D letter was sent to the Examiner news ( By this time, I had full celebrity status and just cause to be concerned about my privacy. Included in this Cease And Desist letter (a ploy to get honest information about this company removed from the internet), they also disclosed my personal emails to them that included my personal information. They also sent the media company a copy of said 7 year contract complete with my Social Security number. There was no reason to send a copy of the contract as I published a copy in the article with any personal information removed. There were other emails disclosed with other privileged personal information that should never have been made public.

The staff at the Examiner has passed this information around their offices (you can see the cc's in the email they sent to me) and even sent a copy to me. PublishAmerica has never sent a copy directly to me. I have no idea who has my information and how it is now or may be used in the future. PublishAmerica out of retaliation, created a very serious security threat for me and my family. This ID theft has been reported to the FTC and the FBI. Once someone's Social Security number is known, it is the key, the golden key for thieves. PublishAmerica knew or should have known the harm they have caused by their actions.

Considering this company is being run by people who have blatantly committed fraud, I am very concerned as to how my information is being misused aside from this public disclosure. Willem Meiners is or was president and Miranda Prather the executive director. Miranda Prather is in a league all her own and is no stranger to controversy and scams. In 1997, she gained national attention after having been arrested for faking a hate crime at Eastern New Mexico University. Meiners established a bogus charity known as HELP in an attempt to write off his helicopter travels on his taxes. Meiners donated the amount of about 53,000 to his own charity and thus is now indebted to the IRS for that exact amount. He has not paid and the IRS has now thrown liens on his personal holdings.

I caught this publishing company lying to its authors about donating to Haiti relief, the Get Caught Reading campaign.. none of these charities have ever heard from PublishAmerica. The idea is to get authors to buy copies of their own books and PA would make these donations. That is just a sampling of their scams. I believe that what PA did to me may very well constitute extortion. The documents were prepared by Victor Cretella who is an attorney and should know better. He knew exactly the sort of trouble he was causing for me now and in the future by disclosing my personal information. They did this to me in an attempt to silence me and bully me into not publishing any further news articles about them. My articles prove that they do not have these thousands of media contacts and "happy authors."

PublishAmerica has never contacted me directly regarding these reports, even though they are now published on my own website. They do know my email address because they have been sending me copies of their sales gimmicks. This tells me that the release of my information was deliberate and intended to cause harm which is criminal.



Anonymous said...


I hope they get what's coming. You hang strong!

Rev. Sinthyia said...

Here is an interesting piece of information. We have found out that the person who established this Direcv account is in Goose Creek South Carolina. Willem Meiners owns a residence in Gilbert. Coincidence?