Jana Koretko of Colorado has been charged for her part in stealing royalties from authors, after a judge found she falsified ebook sales reports.

Korteko’s multiple counts stem from underreporting an estimated 10,000 book sales to around fifteen authors. By claiming lower-than-actual sales, she pocketed $125,000.

This type of behavior is one of the many issues authors must contend with in the pursuit of being a “real” author. Publishers are the ones to control the sales reports, making this type of theft all too easy. In JK Publishing’s case, the real irony is that Koretko was also falsifying the sales numbers to the authors, boosting up their perceptions and making them think their books were faring better than they actually were. That makes it pretty risky to then turn around and reduce those numbers in order to keep a higher portion of the income. It was only after an author questioned the discrepancy in alleged sales in relation to how much money they received that an investigation was launched.

While Koretko will have to wait until next month for a hearing–nearly two years after the initial allegation of wrongdoing–hopefully this serves as a dire warning to publishers to keep their books straight and their dealings with the lifeblood of their companies honest.

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