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Beware of PLS Literary Agency, Korea, FRAUD / SCAMMERS

A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

MJ DeMarco

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Word of warning to anyone thinking about using PLS Literary Agency in Korea for brokering your foreign rights translations in South Korea.

PLS Literary Agency in Korea doesn't honor contracts and is quite possibly engaged in fraud.

If you have a book that is doing well stateside and these people contact you, BEWARE. They are not to be trusted under any circumstances.

To give you the background, my book has done very well in Korea and PLS was contracted as the literary agent. Getting them to pay royalties on a book that has sold TENS OF THOUSANDS of copies has been like pulling teeth. Excuse after excuse, "bad economy" "bills" blah blah blah. I was not aware that my publishing company suddenly became PLS Agency's bank, a source for their mezzanine financing.

After pulling teeth for the 2014 payment, they literally stole our 2015 payment. After hunting down the publisher of the book, turns out the publisher paid PLS the full royalty due, but instead of forwarding the royalty to us (the publisher) PLS kept it all -- and then went silent.

For royalty payment, the publisher is supposed to send the royalties to the literary agency who subtracts their 10% fee, and then passes on the rest to the publisher.

However instead of paying us our royalties, PLS kept the entire amount to themselves, ripping us off on over $16,000.

WRITER / AUTHOR / PUBLISHER BEWARE
PLS LITERARY AGENCY SCAM
 
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Mike Partee

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Word of warning to anyone thinking about using PLS Literary Agency in Korea for brokering your foreign rights translations in South Korea.

PLS Literary Agency in Korea doesn't honor contracts and is quite possibly engaged in fraud.

If you have a book that is doing well stateside and these people contact you, BEWARE. They are not to be trusted under any circumstances.

To give you the background, my book has done very well in Korea and PLS was contracted as the literary agent. Getting them to pay royalties on a book that has sold TENS OF THOUSANDS of copies has been like pulling teeth. Excuse after excuse, "bad economy" "bills" blah blah blah. I was not aware that my publishing company suddenly became PLS Agency's bank, a source for their mezzanine financing.

After pulling teeth for the 2014 payment, they literally stole our 2015 payment. After hunting down the publisher of the book, turns out the publisher paid PLS the full royalty due, but instead of forwarding the royalty to us (the publisher) PLS kept it all -- and then went silent.

For royalty payment, the publisher is supposed to send the royalties to the literary agency who subtracts their 10% fee, and then passes on the rest to the publisher.

However instead of paying us our royalties, PLS kept the entire amount to themselves, ripping us off on over $16,000.

WRITER / AUTHOR / PUBLISHER BEWARE
PLS LITERARY AGENCY SCAM
Are you pursuing legal action?
 

AllenCrawley

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This thread is already the 5th result when searching for PLS Literary Agency.

First result for PLS Literary Agency scam.
 
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ZF Lee

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Word of warning to anyone thinking about using PLS Literary Agency in Korea for brokering your foreign rights translations in South Korea.

PLS Literary Agency in Korea doesn't honor contracts and is quite possibly engaged in fraud.

If you have a book that is doing well stateside and these people contact you, BEWARE. They are not to be trusted under any circumstances.

To give you the background, my book has done very well in Korea and PLS was contracted as the literary agent. Getting them to pay royalties on a book that has sold TENS OF THOUSANDS of copies has been like pulling teeth. Excuse after excuse, "bad economy" "bills" blah blah blah. I was not aware that my publishing company suddenly became PLS Agency's bank, a source for their mezzanine financing.

After pulling teeth for the 2014 payment, they literally stole our 2015 payment. After hunting down the publisher of the book, turns out the publisher paid PLS the full royalty due, but instead of forwarding the royalty to us (the publisher) PLS kept it all -- and then went silent.

For royalty payment, the publisher is supposed to send the royalties to the literary agency who subtracts their 10% fee, and then passes on the rest to the publisher.

However instead of paying us our royalties, PLS kept the entire amount to themselves, ripping us off on over $16,000.

WRITER / AUTHOR / PUBLISHER BEWARE
PLS LITERARY AGENCY SCAM
First the Vigilante book fair shit...and now this?
I am shocked....!
But then again I am not that surprised.

As far as I know, the 'economy is bad' and 'bills' excuse are prevalent for Asian businesses. Especially in my country....

These Asians are giving us a bad name IMO

@UnrealCreative I wonder whether there is anything in the legal contracts that would help out? Like some kind of stipulation or something if someone breaks trust?
 

vinylawesome

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I'm sorry to hear that this happened to you. Hopefully this warning will help other authors and alert them to the fact that the PLS Literary Agency in Korea is a Scam!
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Apparently this thread has caught their interest enough to send over more excuses.

Reminder: What these people did was essentially violate their fiduciary duty as they are acting much like an escrow company...

Translation publisher sends $16K ---> Escrow Company --> Escrow company disburses funds to rights owner/licensor.

PLS, the escrow company, kept the money and used it for their own purposes, instead of forwarding to rights owner.

Sound like fraud to you?

Are you pursuing legal action?

It is being explored... cost vs recovery chances and recovery ability. $16K is a lot of cash, but so is retaining a law firm with a branch in Seoul. (Which BTW, my firm does have offices there.)
 

ZF Lee

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Apparently this thread has caught their interest enough to send over more excuses.

Reminder: What these people did was essentially violate their fiduciary duty as they are acting much like an escrow company...

Translation publisher sends $16K ---> Escrow Company --> Escrow company disburses funds to rights owner/licensor.

PLS, the escrow company, kept the money and used it for their own purposes, instead of forwarding to rights owner.

Sound like fraud to you?



It is being explored... cost vs recovery chances and recovery ability. $16K is a lot of cash, but so is retaining a law firm with a branch in Seoul. (Which BTW, my firm does have offices there.)
Can you switch literary agents then, if lawsuits cost a lot?
Or would it have its cons there too?

But IMO, just sue them. Those people have no right to steal from authors, let alone a best selling one. Such filth cannot be allowed to do business peacefully. If they are really frauds, they might go on scamming people should they be allowed to stay.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Bump.

But IMO, just sue them.

So spend another $10K so I can get a judgment and collect nothing from a bunch of deadbeats who will just file BK? If anything, the police should be called. Freaking thieves. But nice to know I paid the rent for some posh office in a Seoul skyscraper.
 

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I had tremendous success in a similar situation contacting the United States consulate. As soon as I copied the scammer on my request for the US consulate to contact the local authorities, suddenly the situation resolved.

PLS Literary Agency most likely does not want the Korean government getting involved in investigating their ripping off a United States trade partner.

I would put them on 72 hours notice that if full payment isn't received then you will take that step.

That's part of the reason we have representatives there and a very favorable trade status with their country.

My guess is they don't want to be investigated with the possibility of going to jail over this. In an extreme sequence of events they could lose their entire company over this.
 

ZF Lee

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Bump.



So spend another $10K so I can get a judgment and collect nothing from a bunch of deadbeats who will just file BK? If anything, the police should be called. Freaking thieves. But nice to know I paid the rent for some posh office in a Seoul skyscraper.
Don't help thieves pay rent lol.
I had tremendous success in a similar situation contacting the United States consulate. As soon as I copied the scammer on my request for the US consulate to contact the local authorities, suddenly the situation resolved.

PLS Literary Agency most likely does not want the Korean government getting involved in investigating their ripping off a United States trade partner.

I would put them on 72 hours notice that if full payment isn't received then you will take that step.

That's part of the reason we have representatives there and a very favorable trade status with their country.

My guess is they don't want to be investigated with the possibility of going to jail over this. In an extreme sequence of events they could lose their entire company over this.
I like this! Go for it, if you'd like, @MJ DeMarco
 
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ZF Lee

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Bump. @MJ DeMarco, how are things now with this issue? Have you managed to sort things out with the other parties?
If there's one thing that worries me on sales...it's that whether thieves are about!:inpain:
 

MattShaw

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I signed up with PLS over a year ago but made changes to the contract that they agreed. The contracts state that any lawsuit must take place in the UK - where I am from - and that royalty statements (and payments) are due every quarter.
This company has been ignoring me since December 2016 now. No statements, no replies to emails etc. I have no idea what has been earned from the 4 books they published and during the translation process they went over the time promised, breaching contract twice in the process. Because I was foolish and desperate to get my work out there, I let it slide.
This week I reached out again, given then 7 days to respond. I have prepped my solicitor to discuss taking it further - not only a cease and desist on selling my work out there but also damages. Just need to see what they say I can realistically get to see if it is worth it but - yes - avoid this company at all costs. They're a poison.
 

The-J

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I signed up with PLS over a year ago but made changes to the contract that they agreed. The contracts state that any lawsuit must take place in the UK - where I am from - and that royalty statements (and payments) are due every quarter.
This company has been ignoring me since December 2016 now. No statements, no replies to emails etc. I have no idea what has been earned from the 4 books they published and during the translation process they went over the time promised, breaching contract twice in the process. Because I was foolish and desperate to get my work out there, I let it slide.
This week I reached out again, given then 7 days to respond. I have prepped my solicitor to discuss taking it further - not only a cease and desist on selling my work out there but also damages. Just need to see what they say I can realistically get to see if it is worth it but - yes - avoid this company at all costs. They're a poison.

Holy shit your first post is about this?

Very interesting. You joined today to corroborate @MJ DeMarco's experience.

How did you find the forum?
 
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MJ DeMarco

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How did you find the forum?

Probably to confirm he was ripped off like I was.

and that royalty statements (and payments) are due every quarter.

Ha Ha, good luck. From what it looks like, the publishers are paying them, but they're keeping the money. My publisher paid them $16,000 and instead of taking their cut, they kept it. FRAUD.
 

MattShaw

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Holy shit your first post is about this?

Very interesting. You joined today to corroborate @MJ DeMarco's experience.

How did you find the forum?

Because I have been a full-time author for a little over 6 years now and I am sick and tired of learning about publishers (or, in this case, agents) ripping authors off. I was online looking for more details of the company to see if I could find another contact but found this first! Even before their own website which speaks volumes. As it is - I can't find another contact. The only person I have the name of is Yuri and I can't find her surname anywhere either.

I am hoping my solicitor comes back with good news about suing them but hard to say what to sue them for when you don't get statements!
 

The-J

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Because I have been a full-time author for a little over 6 years now and I am sick and tired of learning about publishers (or, in this case, agents) ripping authors off. I was online looking for more details of the company to see if I could find another contact but found this first! Even before their own website which speaks volumes. As it is - I can't find another contact. The only person I have the name of is Yuri and I can't find her surname anywhere either.

I am hoping my solicitor comes back with good news about suing them but hard to say what to sue them for when you don't get statements!

I'm personally interested in your experience. My mother's an author and has been through her fair share of bullshit. @Vigilante too posted a story of being ripped off at a book fair.

Care to do a public AMA about the bullshit that plagues the industry?
 

MJ DeMarco

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I am hoping my solicitor comes back with good news about suing them

I'm sure they will file BK and not care about lawsuits.

I signed up with PLS over a year ago but made changes to the contract that they agreed. The contracts state that any lawsuit must take place in the UK - where I am from - and that royalty statements (and payments) are due every quarter.

Mine says the same thing, suit brought forth in Arizona. But again, I doubt these thieves care.
 

MattShaw

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I'm sure they will file BK and not care about lawsuits.



Mine says the same thing, suit brought forth in Arizona. But again, I doubt these thieves care.

Apparently my solicitor is coming back to me with what exactly can be done about collecting monies due. If there is nothing that can be done, I'm happy to rope the publisher in too who - given it is their country - will no doubt care very much that the company isn't paying the authors as it is also their reputation. Time will tell but now I know this thread exists - I'll keep you posted on details :)
 
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WildFlower

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Word of warning to anyone thinking about using PLS Literary Agency in Korea for brokering your foreign rights translations in South Korea.

PLS Literary Agency in Korea doesn't honor contracts and is quite possibly engaged in fraud.

If you have a book that is doing well stateside and these people contact you, BEWARE. They are not to be trusted under any circumstances.

To give you the background, my book has done very well in Korea and PLS was contracted as the literary agent. Getting them to pay royalties on a book that has sold TENS OF THOUSANDS of copies has been like pulling teeth. Excuse after excuse, "bad economy" "bills" blah blah blah. I was not aware that my publishing company suddenly became PLS Agency's bank, a source for their mezzanine financing.

After pulling teeth for the 2014 payment, they literally stole our 2015 payment. After hunting down the publisher of the book, turns out the publisher paid PLS the full royalty due, but instead of forwarding the royalty to us (the publisher) PLS kept it all -- and then went silent.

For royalty payment, the publisher is supposed to send the royalties to the literary agency who subtracts their 10% fee, and then passes on the rest to the publisher.

However instead of paying us our royalties, PLS kept the entire amount to themselves, ripping us off on over $16,000.

WRITER / AUTHOR / PUBLISHER BEWARE
PLS LITERARY AGENCY SCAM

I've seen this happen in the acting world where the agent (a legit company about to fall) kept the money. The agent has all the money and you have a 90% risk, whereas if you the talent/author took in the money then paid the agent, the agent only has a 10% risk. I've seen actors say the only way they will sign with an agent is if they can pay the agent directly.
 

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