Founder, CEO of Tate Publishing accused of embezzlement, extortion
MUSTANG, Okla. (KOKH) —
The founder and CEO of Tate Publishing have been arrested and accused of embezzlement and extortion.
Richard and Ryan Tate were both apprehended May 4 in Canadian County. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter reports his office has filed 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 against the two.
Mustang-based Tate Publishing and Tate Music Group ceased operations in January and since that time the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit has received 718 complaints from contracted authors and musicians.
Complaints against the company range from failure to deliver products and services that have been paid for to failure to pay royalty earning and refusal to return files unless the customer agrees to pay a $50 processing fee.
“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,” Hunter said.
Hunter said an investigation by agents from his office determine that money from the sale of books and music were deposited into business checking accounts and then transferred to Ryan or Richard's personal accounts.
Hunter says he plans to seek restitution for the victims in the case.