Tate Publishing Founder, CEO accused of embezzlement, extortion

Richard Tate

Ryan Tate

Richard Tate, 70, and his son Ryan Tate, 38, who operated Tate Publishing and Tate Music Group, were arrested Thursday on eight felony charges and one misdemeanor charge.
The charges include four felony counts of embezzlement, one felony count of attempted extortion by threat, two felony counts of extortion by threat, one felony count of racketeering and one misdemeanor count of embezzlement.
The charges were filed by Attorney General Mike Hunter in Canadian County District Court.
The attorney general’s office also plans to seek restitution for the company’s victims.
Both men were booked into the county jail with bail set at $100,000 each. The two were also ordered to surrender their passports.
Trouble at the Mustang-based publishing company came to the surface last May when Xerox filed a lawsuit against the company. The suit alleged CEO Ryan Tate had failed to pay bills owed to Xerox as part of a lease and service agreement.
Tate Publishing responded to the lawsuit July 6, 2016 denying all allegations.
Xerox is not the only company to sue Tate Publishing. Lightning Source filed a lawsuit against Tate Publishing and Ryan Tate in January of this year in the Western District of the U.S. District Court. The Tennessee-based company sought repayment of money it said it had given to Tate Publishing in June 2016. The suit claims the money was for the exclusive distribution and printing for at least 5.5. million books during the next five years.
A federal judge approved a default judgment in favor of Lightning Source in February for more than $2 million.
Xerox was granted an award by a Canadian County district judge in March after Ryan Tate failed to respond to various motions. The judgment authorizes Xerox to collect $1,446,070.67 from Tate Publishing, and $450,308.18 from Ryan Tate.
After closing in January, it appeared Tate Publishing was no longer an on-going concern, until Ryan Tate emailed some of the company’s clients on April 26 informing them the company was reopening, despite facing millions of dollars in judgments related to the previous lawsuits.
“Securing the finest legal counsel made it possible for us to put a plan in place to resolve all the issues we were facing… in a proper and ethical manner,” Ryan Tate wrote in the email sent to clients. “Finally, we established a plan for reorganization in order to reinstate full publishing, distribution, and marking operations immediately.”
Ryan Tate also made several promises about improving the company’s operations in the email.
The attorney general said the email that announced it was resuming operations was what prompted the charges.
Since the business ceased operations in January, reports from the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Unit said it has received more than 800 complaints from authors or musicians who contracted with the companies. Those complaints range from failure to deliver products and services that had been previously paid for, failure to pay royalty earnings per contractual agreement and refusal to return files unless the customer agreed to pay a $50 processing fee.
During the investigation, agents allegedly found that money was deposited into corporate accounts then transferred into Richard and Ryan Tate’s personal bank accounts.
“The means by which Ryan and Richard Tate conducted business to defraud individuals from across the country is unconscionable and a blatant disregard for those who entrusted them to produce their work,” Attorney General Hunter said in a written statement. “I appreciate the dedication and hard work by the agents and the attorneys in the Consumer Protection Unit, who put this case together.”
The attorney general continues to get more complaints, and said it’s likely that additional charges could be added and possibly even more people could be charged as the investigation continues.
If convicted, each defendant faces prison time and fines.
Tate Publishing’s website, www.tatepublishing.com, states the business “is no longer accepting new submissions, content, or clients.” It then gives links for people who wish to terminate contracts for released or unreleased titles, to request a copy of final project files or to order product for personal use and sale.
Ryan Tate is denying all allegations and told KOCO News 5 “We’re looking forward to our day in court and to fighting them. We’ll make sure the truth wins out.”

1 Comment

  1. Chuck DelRossi on August 24, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    I am one of those victims. The CD is DelRossi “It’s Only Me”. It’s on itunes, Amazon, Spotify etc. I never received one penny. I can’t believe that not even one CD wasn’t sold. Also, I wanted all my recording and CD mechanicals but had just gone through a divorce couldn’t afford to pay $50.00 or order more CD’s before they bailed. To view proof of my CD anyone can go to Amazon or itunes and put in the seach are, Chuck DelRossi, and the CD will come up.

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