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Thread: Mars Publishing

  1. #1
    magazinewriter
    Guest

    Mars Publishing

    According to CA Bankruptcy Court, Mars Publishing filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 8, 2003. The case # is 03-40871.

    Basically, this gives them a legal way to get out of ever paying us our money. Although I'm still going to talk with my lawyer. Some of us may be able to pursue him for copyright infringement, especially those of you who didn't receive a penny of your advance.

    I don't know much about bankruptcy, but I've worked for two mags that filed bankruptcy. In one case, I never got anything. In the other, I got a penny for each dollar owed (as in, $10 instead of a thousand).

    Mars claims to have no assets. Wouldn't the inventory of our books be considered an asset?

    Ed Steussy also filed for bankruptcy, probably so we can't go after him for the money personally.

    I am so mad - this was a total scam. He's been purposedly stalling us for months, probably knowing full well the whole time that he planned to do this.

    My name - and that of several other authors - are listed among the *123* creditors mentioned in the bankruptcy papers. Geez, we'd be lucky if we actually even got a penny on the dollar.

    Bobbi

  2. #2
    XThe NavigatorX
    Guest

    Re: Mars Publishing filed for bankruptcy!

    ouch. I don't know too much about bankruptcy either, but when a business that owed us a lot of money (a consignment shop that sold $800 worth of our musical equipment) went under a few years ago, we got zilch. Good luck.

  3. #3
    writingal
    Guest

    just curious

    How did you find out about the bankruptcy, magwriter? And how can others see a copy of the filing?

  4. #4
    magazinewriter
    Guest

    Re: just curious

    Well, I've been watching for it because I had a strong suspicion that this is what Ed was planning. One of my specialties is investigative journalism, so I do a lot of this kind of research stuff - checking people's divorce records, criminal background, credit history, etc.

    Eventually, everyone listed as a creditor will get some paperwork in the mail with all the basic info.

    I got a copy of the paperwork through a court records service I use, but I guess if anyone wants to get a copy without waiting for theirs to arrive in the mail, you could try calling the CA bankruptcy court and see if they'll send you a copy.

  5. #5
    writingal
    Guest

    Bankruptcy letter

    Just checked my mail and there was letter from the CA Bankruptcy court. Yup, old Ed has gone down.

    Hey, there's going to be a meeting of creditors on Jan. 13 in L.A....shall we go?

  6. #6
    XThe NavigatorX
    Guest

    Re: Bankruptcy letter

    heh. He has to show up to that, so you'll be able to face him.

  7. #7
    magazinewriter
    Guest

    Re: Bankruptcy letter

    Unfortunately, Ed will get off easy, because most of the authors won't be able to come to CA to attend that meeting - especially now that they know they can kiss this money goodbye.


    Want a good laugh? Here's an excerpt from Ed's post from October in the original Mars thread:

    "We are current for payments promised on the fifteen books we are publishing this year to May 15 and we expect to be back on track long before the next season starts.

    I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the authors (past, present and future) of Mars Publishing who have written and promoted their works over the years. It is because of you that Parent's Guide Press will continue to grow and flourish."

  8. #8
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Interesting

    Someone who's going to that hearing ought to ask to speak and point out that they were deliberately hoodwinked about conditions at that publisher. A court might not take kindly to learning that and refuse to permit him to file for bankruptcy. I've heard that it's rare, but that it can happen especially in cases where fraudulent actions were conducted in order to sidetrack creditors.

  9. #9
    muffin1976
    Guest

    Re: other ways to sue

    Well, I guess he did file. What a snake. I was thinking I would sue him personally but if he bk'd too then we probably can't go after him for non-payment--BUT what about copyright infringement and fraud? Just because he bk's doesn't mean he can get away with breaking the law. I am in SD but I don't know if I can make it to the hearing. I wonder if I could send a lawyer in my sted?

  10. #10
    muffin1976
    Guest

    Re: other ways to sue

    I did not get any papers-- probably because they didn't have a current address for me. I went online to the southern california bankruptcy court web site and case #: 03-40871 was not found. Is this the correct #? Anyone have any more contact info for the court?

  11. #11
    battlechaser
    Guest

    Re: other ways to sue

    Go to the hearing, and bring your lawyer if you can.
    Bankruptcies are open to the public.

    The judge will ask if anyone present has any judgements, etc. against the person(s) or business that is filing.

    May be the least that can happen is for you to get all the books sitting in the warehouse.

    Make sure you bring your paper work.

  12. #12
    magazinewriter
    Guest

    Books held hostage

    Unfortunately, we can't even try to get the books from the warehouse because the distributor - who is listed as one of the 123 creditors, and is owed money by the publisher - wasn't aware of the bankruptcy, but said they'll probably end up holding onto all the books as payment for the money they're owed. Not sure what exactly they would plan to do with the books, aside from leaving them sitting there.

  13. #13
    writingal
    Guest

    Ed's personal bankruptcy

    Yes, 03-40871-ER is the case number on my papers. I also received notice in today's mail about Ed's personal bankruptcy. It lists him and his wife as debtors, and that case # is 03-40976-ER.

  14. #14
    muffin1976
    Guest

    Re: Let's Stop Ed!

    To ALL writers wronged by Mars Publishing/Parent's Guide Press/Ed Steussy:

    Ed Steussy may think he is protecting himself by filing for personal bankruptcy, along with his wife, to protect his assets and avoid paying us, but this does not shield him from criminal prosecution for fraud. Please visit this web site for a complete definition of the term "fraud": www.wld.com/conbus/weal/wfraud.htm.

    After reading the definition you will believe, as I do, that Ed is guilty of fraud and must be punished to the full extent of the law. Ed cannot be allowed to walk away from this mess without consequences. He has broken most of our contracts by either not following through with publication after our manuscripts were submitted and approved and after we sought payment, or he has failed to provide payment for advances and royalties on published books. It is my belief that Ed never intended on making good on any of our contracts, which constitutes fraud. He led us all falsey into agreements. We may not get money from this prosecution but it will put a stop to Ed's business dealings--at least for a while. The only potential problem here is if Ed is listed only as an agent in the by-laws of Mars Publishing. He may actually be protected from criminal charges :-( I am doing more research and am going to consult an attorney regarding this matter. I don't know how to find out how he is listed.

    I plan to send statements to the following agencies. I urge you all to do the same so that our cases do not get ignored. I plan to send a statement to the trustee of the bankruptcy case as well. If we all do this the judge might not grant Ed's BK--if enough of us send statements it might have an impact. Our statements will show that Ed defrauded all of us intentionally and is using bankruptcy to avoid his obligations. It doesn't hurt us to try. Here are the addresses I have compiled.

    Mars Publishing
    1672 Redesdale Ave.
    Los Angeles, CA 90026

    Steve Cooley, District Attorney
    210 West Temple Street, Room 18-709
    Los Angeles 90012
    da.co.la.ca.us/
    lada@co.la.ca.us

    Office of the City Attorney
    Rocky Delgadillo
    800 City Hall East
    200 North Main Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90012

    California Attorney General
    Bill Lockyer
    caag.state.ca.us/
    California Department of Justice
    Public Inquiry Unit
    P.O. Box 944255
    Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
    Submit a complaint online:
    caag.state.ca.us/consumers/mailform.htm

    Bankruptcy Court Trustee for Ed's case
    Carolyn A Dye
    Law Offices of Carolyn Dye
    1925 Century Park East Ste. 1150
    Los Angeles, CA 90067-2712
    310-789-2054

  15. #15
    Pencilpoint
    Guest

    Re: Let's Stop Ed!

    That latest I have heard on the Mars bankruptcy front is a letter from another bankruptcy trustee appointing a real estate agent to represent the sale of a property (the Redesdale address on a previous post) that is now regarded as part of Ed's estate.
    So, not sure what will happen next, but now that there is property of some value, presumably I can now file a claim. The initial notice I got said not to file a claim as there was no property to fail a claim against. Now that there is, I will file a claim to reclaim the copyright of my book. I could care less what they do with the copies that the distributor may still have in its warehouse as in my case, Mars bungled the maps and the books in my view were flawed from the outset.
    Any author who has still not been paid should file, as who knows what the value of the real estate will be and how far the money will stretch. As freelance writers we live in hope anyhow!

  16. #16
    writingal
    Guest

    Ed back in biz?

    I did a google on "Edwin Steussy" and this Web address came up: www.replacementdocs.com/

    Ed's company did game manuals...wonder if he's behind this?

  17. #17
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: Let's Stop Ed!

    If Dave and Muffin are right about being able to stop Ed Steussy's bankruptcy filing, I suggest you guys get moving, because otherwise you're screwed even worse than you think.

    I don't know whether Steussy's contract says that in the event of a bankruptcy, you all get your works back. It's a standard provision in publishing contracts. Unfortunately, it means zilch -- as in, there've been court decisions saying "sorry, you don't get 'em back."

    The trick is, publishers have secured and unsecured creditors. The printers and distributors and investors are usually secured. The authors aren't. When a publisher goes bankrupt, there's not much value in the company except for the books in inventory. The courts have ruled that no matter what the individual publishing contracts say, the house can't dispose of a major portion of its worth to unsecured creditors before the secured creditors are paid off. In practice, this means that if the bankruptcy goes through, any titles held in inventory will be tied up in the courts for years. That's what happened when Pinnacle went bankrupt. I'm not sure when the books finally shook loose. Maybe they haven't done it yet. That was over a decade ago.

    If you can stop bankruptcy proceedings by proving fraudulent intent, get cracking on it now.

  18. #18
    writingal
    Guest

    Look at those debts!

    From Bankruptcies - Data Bank
    Los Angeles Business Journal, Dec 22, 2003

    Mars Publishing Inc.

    (Publishing)

    1672 Redesdale Ave., L.A. 90026

    Chapter: 7

    Assets: $70,000

    Debts: $976,767

    Doc#LA03-40871-ER

    File-Date: 12/08/03

  19. #19
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Mars Publishing / Ed Steussy

    An object lesson for all of us.

  20. #20
    magazinewriter
    Guest

    Question Mars Publishing - Ed Steussy resurfaces?

    I was one of many writers who got burned by Mars Publishing. While I gave up any hope of seeing my $$ years ago, I would love to know what happened to all the copies of my books that were in inventory, apparently being held hostage by the distributor until they got paid. I really would love to have some of those books.

    Anyway, I'd been wondering what happened to the infamous Ed Steussy, and I think I may have found him. On this website, the company president is listed as Edwin E. Steussy. I can't be sure it's the same guy, but the company is based in southern CA, which is where Mars Publishing was based.

    http://www.apogeecommunications.com/

    Has anyone actually heard from this guy lately?

  21. #21
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Interesting. Certainly something/one to keep an eye on.
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Yes, this is him. www.apogeecommunications.com. For sure.

    Yes This is him. 100%

    Dealing with transaltions, mainly games, computer games etc.
    After all I read here, I wonder if he at all pays for the translators...

    I will NOT work for him.
    Thank GOD for this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by magazinewriter View Post
    I was one of many writers who got burned by Mars Publishing. While I gave up any hope of seeing my $$ years ago, I would love to know what happened to all the copies of my books that were in inventory, apparently being held hostage by the distributor until they got paid. I really would love to have some of those books.

    Anyway, I'd been wondering what happened to the infamous Ed Steussy, and I think I may have found him. On this website, the company president is listed as Edwin E. Steussy. I can't be sure it's the same guy, but the company is based in southern CA, which is where Mars Publishing was based.

    http://www.apogeecommunications.com/

    Has anyone actually heard from this guy lately?

  23. #23
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    To Whom It May Concern:

    Apogee closed Sept '13. (Parent company, Solon Enterprises, Inc.)
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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