I was one of those victims. A great number of people lost 1000’s of dollars given to Tate to publish their manuscripts. Both my manuscripts, A Child is Missing: A True Story, and A Child is Missing: Searching for Justice were initially published by Tate. (The second book took 6 years of my life to research, interview, and write.) We trusted them. They have caused financial hardship and emotional distress to many of us.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2018
Attorney General Hunter Announces Plea Agreement in Case against Richard and Ryan Tate
Defendants to pay more than $820,000 to victims
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today announced the state has reached a plea agreement with Richard and Ryan Tate, who will spend the next two decades on probation in order to pay more than $820,000 in restitution to victims.
As part of the plea, the former executives of Tate Publishing and Tate Music Group were charged with 38 felonies and six misdemeanors related to their fraudulent business practices that swindled more than 2,200 individuals out of their property and money they paid to have their music or books published or produced through the companies.
Attorney General Hunter said his office has set up a restitution account and is working on a system to begin paying victims back as expeditiously as possible.
“Today, the Tates have finally accepted responsibility for defrauding thousands of individuals,” Attorney General Hunter said. “My office will be closely monitoring the Tates throughout the course of their sentence to ensure every dollar is accounted for and they are complying with the terms of the plea agreement. I want the victims to know that my office is committed to doing all we can to guarantee they are repaid. While we establish this process to return victims’ money, we appreciate their patience and hope they know we are working every day with their best interests in mind.
“The successful outcome in this case wouldn’t have been possible without the diligent effort by the attorneys and agents in the Consumer Protection Unit. I commend their efforts and ongoing dedication to protecting Oklahomans.”
Terms of Agreement
As part of the plea, and upon the filing of the agreement in Canadian County, the defendants made an initial payment of $109,000 to the Tate Victim Restitution Account. On the first day of every month beginning in February, the defendants will make a monthly restitution payment to the account in the amount of $3,000.
The total amount of the restitution owed may increase as more victims come forward with credible claims. Victims have until July 1, 2019 to file complaints and supporting documentation with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit.
The defendants are required to make additional lump sum payments each month their combined income exceeds $8,333. The lump sum payment will be equal to 50 percent of the amount of their combined monthly gross income for the previous month.
Each month, the defendants must provide the Attorney General’s Office with all pay stubs and all bank account information. Annually, the defendants must provide copies of W-2s, 1099s and tax returns for themselves and their spouses.
The defendants agree that any and all contractual agreements between authors and artists and the companies have been terminated. Additionally, they will immediately release all computers and computer servers in their possession to the Attorney General’s Office.
If the defendants violate any of the terms listed within the agreement, they risk probation revocation, which could result in prison time.
To see the plea agreement, click here: https://bit.ly/2SbC1Oa.
Today’s outcome is the result of Attorney General Hunter filing the charges in May, 2017. To read the original release on the charges being filed, click here: https://bit.ly/2AbQbY6.
Unfortunately, the Attorney General’s Office cannot provide assurances to the quality of the files returned by the defendants. The files on the website were received by the Attorney General’s Office from the defendants. Some of the files received were incomplete, corrupt and possibly irretrievable. The defendants claim they are incapable of returning all authors’ and artists’ files as some files were stored in the Philippines and have not been recovered.