• We’re running on a new server at a new host with a new forum software called XenForo. Some things are different. Some things may not work as expected. I am working on it as fast as I can. Please be patient. Please read this post.
  • I'm going to be working on the forums for a while. Things may be wonky. I may turn the forums off without notice. Consider this a bit of a public beta test as we figure out the new software and make adjustments. But you've been much missed, and we can't wait to see you again!

Hill and Hill Literary Agency (Christopher Hill)

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

anothersucker

I can't get my head round all these numbers for deciding who is who or not, I'm only a simple country lad. I can assure you all that there's only me uses this computer, although it does feel rather crowded on the chair sometimes ( either weight gain or my alter ego) Would somebody do me a favour though and prove to me that I'm really John Grisham or Dan Brown or even J K Rowling and then I wouldn't have any trouble finding an agent
 

Dollywagon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
0
Crikey, I only went to bed and got up again, and it seems the whole world is on fire.

Now where did that nice, Mr Hades go? We were having such a lovely chat.

And Private Eye, well, well, well. A right little old garden path somebody was trying to lead us up.

You never know who to trust. As my nan used to say, "you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but never let your friends pick your nose."
- OK, so it's probably not all that relevant but it is quite funny.
 

Dollywagon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
0
Oh, and for what it's worth I think it's a VAT scam.

You there, PE, your green light is on?

These posted earlier in the thread by the above named:

"To my knowledge tax was paid as I requested a VAT receipt and was provided with one, I was hoping this might be an angle to trap!"

...

"And alas they were registered."


But they aren't, are they?
 

italianjob

Registered
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Here's my theory, for what it's worth.

Hill - A REAL PERSON - knew the water was heating up, and decided to jump out before he got burned. He decided to re-direct his clients/victims here so they could all be confused together. Then he invented this persona of Private Eye who would work tirelessly to convince the ex-clients that Hill didn't, and had never, existed, and that his squalid little one-man scam was being masterminded by a giant global operation, run by the fictional figures of Chambers, Ashton and co. Private Eye would then encourage the ex-clients, incl. me, the Prof, Judicial and so on, to email them with their views, promising to make a bogus complaint which would never be sent anywhere, a bit like one of Hill's crappy submissions, in fact! Well I'm sorry PE or 'James Dreardon' , but I had your number earlier in the week. You see, most of the people here are literate and articulate, and you aren't. In fact, your spelling and powers of expression are almost as feeble as Hill's. And another thing, you told me in a private message that you had arranged an appointment with Lothian and Borders Police Serious Crime Squad. Mmm, really? Perhaps I'll give them a ring, and perhaps I'll talk to them myself about Christopher Hill. And since you're still undoubtedly in these islands, they should have no trouble finding you.

Honestly Christopher, if you had put as much effort and ingenuity into being a legitimate agent as you have into being a bogus one, you might actually have got somewhere by now. You sad man.
 
Last edited:

Dollywagon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
0
Sorry, but I disagree.
PE was very articulate in his postings, in fact he only made two repetitive errors throughout.

I was never quite comfortable with his postings but couldn't quite put my finger on why.
- Why trail somebody for years, come up with dead ends and carry on?
- He never, to my knowledge posted on other boards requesting info
- He never responded to my Watchdog post, which was the practical way to go
- He never gave information but managed to illicit a lot off other people
- Misdirection - lots of it. He tried to convince everybody that Hill was in Spain
- He gained a lot of peoples trust - In fact he even offered to vouch for you, Italian Job
- Those little green lights. Their illumination can be quite illuminating.

I couldn't quite put them all together. I'd seen them somewhere before. This morning I figured it. The Big House.
 

SUNDIAL

Registered
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
32
Reaction score
0
Location
Beyond the Planets
Thought:

While we're venting our spleen here, are we leaving the 'Hill Tribe' alone?

And is that the whole idea of this latest debacle?
 
Last edited:

Rob Plumpton

Registered
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
People are, at one and the same time, venting their spleens and providing evidence for the public to digest. And besides, it's healthy to air these views as it prevents them festering in some corner of the mind.
 

Dollywagon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
0
I think the whole idea has been to distract you from reporting it.

The PE thing, made you think it was being reported and action was being taken.

These people understand people. They know that they don't like sticking their necks out and going it alone, but maybe, just maybe, one of you would.
By throwing you a 'representative,' it eliminated, or at least reduced that possibility.

The misdirection has been such, that most now think this is a small time outfit of woebegone misfits who have snaffled off with a few thousand quid - not really worth your time in pursuing it really, is it? Besides which you would look a bit of a nit going to the authorities and telling them you'd had £80 nicked.

The other scenario, is of course that there is one Mr Hill, who has some kind of personality disorder and is trying to incur attention.

That is the stalker or flamer mentality. I haven't seen any of that here. Nobody playing devils advocate, no body saying he is great, no provocation at all really.

All I've seen is misdirection, misdirection and more misdirection. And an awful lot of effort put in by the people involved. It's been focused, directed and purposeful. These things are done for a reason and it isn't for a few thousand quid.

Take this as a personal lesson and walk away from it if you will. After all that was the intention. But maybe, just one of you will try and risk getting a bit more egg on your face and go to the authorities.
 

Joanna_S

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 3, 2006
Messages
362
Reaction score
0
Location
Los Angeles
Website
www.joannasandsmark.com
The other purpose PE had was information-gathering. By being the go-to guy collecting everyone's information, theories, and evidence, Hill could find out what everyone had. It was a good double-play -- getting info on the opposition and pretending to be the one who'd report to the authorities so no one else had to. I'll admit that the whole cloak and daggar, "If you knew what I knew you'd be shocked, but I can't tell anyone what I know" bit got annoying. I didn't find it all that supicious because message boards tend to be attractive to people who like to pretend they're more important than everyone else. That's what 'insider information that I can't share' posts usually are. Little did we know he really did know the inside scoop.

You know, it's occured to me that Mr. Hill may be a fan of musicals and named himself after conman Prof. Henry Hill from "The Music Man" as an inside joke. Or not. Maybe it's because I'm a fan of musicals that it even occured to me. There is no doubt, however, that he's Trouble with a capital T that rhymes with C that stands for Cheat.

-- Joanna
 

Dollywagon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
0
Yet again someone has managed to remind me what a little odd-ball I am.

Maybe it's a funny take on life, but with me 'trust' has to be earned. Just because you have a title and a certificate on the wall, doesn't mean I'm going to take that at face value.

Tell me to trust you, and I'll tell you to prove yourself to my satisfaction. In other words I will presume you to be a manipulating dimwit until you prove otherwise.

It's just the user id that leads people to think I'm a bit of a push-over!
 

molly99

The news that Private Eye was in fact "Hill" shows just how devious and dishonest these creatures are. At least it might convince the few that are still harbouring a hope that a real contract is in the post to move on.

These people are pondlife and they deserve to be locked up for what is undoubtedly fraud. I dont believe this was a small scale operation for one moment. My new agent tells me that he receives 400 submissions per month. If Hill got an average of £100 per client, he was making a tidy sum each month. All he had to do was set up automated e mails in batches - remember that strange gap before the contract took effect? He could then send the same stuff out to all of us, in the fairly certain knowledge that none of us would compare.

He was also aided by something else - we were duped as much by our own egos as by him. It's obvious that no-one posting on here is stupid or lacking in imagination. Like many here, I am a successful professional with a post-graduate degree - yet when I received reports from Hill that were barely coherent, when he sent me a submission package in which my main character was not even mentioned, when he sent my crime novel to a publishing house that exclusively deals with science fiction and another which only handles non-fiction, did I trust my instincts and bail out? No, I shoved my suspicions aside and hoped against reason that he was for real.

None of this makes us fools, it makes us human. It doesn't mean that we should abandon out ambitions to get published, but we will be wiser next time we sign a contract. And it doesn';t make us bad writers. If nothing else, we can all write better than Hill.

We're not going to get our money back, nor the time we have wasted with these morons. Lets not add our self respect to the things they have stolen from us.
 

xhouseboy

In the Yellow Woods
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 3, 2005
Messages
1,512
Reaction score
0
Dollywagon said:
The misdirection has been such, that most now think this is a small time outfit of woebegone misfits who have snaffled off with a few thousand quid - not really worth your time in pursuing it really, is it? Besides which you would look a bit of a nit going to the authorities and telling them you'd had £80 nicked.

True. He nicks from you, no one's really going to break a leg following up on it.

But - if he nicked from the tax man, that's a different game.

And if it's payback you're after...
 

Olderbutwiser

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
74
Reaction score
0
Location
London
Wow! Just when I thought this thread was running out of steam, I decided to have a night off. And look what happens!

I got a private message from PE on 18th Sept asking me to join a closed chatroom with a passward. He said he was in conctact with Italianjob and the moderators and was trying to amass as much info as possible to "nail these guys". I replied saying I'd join but had nothing to offer except an analytical point of view, which wasn't hard evidence. I also mentioned I was in contact with Geoff. Strangely, I've not heard from him since.

We have some legal friends posting on this thread who have offered advice. For many years, Olderbutwiser ran a small business supplying goods and services to contracted customers, with varying levels of success. From experience I have several observations.

Firstly from the legal POV. Anyone entering a "contract" with Hill and Hill Literary Agency has signed a piece of paper with about as much worth as that which is perforated and comes on a roll. H&H Lit Ag was not a limited company, and therefore not a legal entity. For the contract to have any legality, it would have to have been made between the individual contractee (i.e. us) and Christopher Hill/Claire Ashton/Stuart Hades/whoever trading as H&H LA. You can't make a contract with a trading name. (You can't sue a trading name either).

And for Hill to be able to pass the contract on to another of his "companies", there would need to be a clause in the contract agreed to by both parties that the contractor (i.e. H&H) had the right to assign the contact to another party if it so wished. There was no such clause, so anyone emailing their name to "the Spanish blanket" was not agreeing to continuity of the contract, vaild or not.

Secondly, there are contradicting postings that H&H were VAT registered. A business would need a turnover of around £60k per annum to need to be VAT registered. I still believe the scam was netting nowhere near that - it would mean he was scamming at least 600 "clients" a year - or 12 people each and every week. And if he was scamming us, then why bother paying VAT?

If he has claimed on his invoice that his charge included VAT, he would need to have shown his trading address, his unique 9 figure VAT number, and also the date of the transaction. If he has used a false VAT number, this would certainly attract the attentions of Her Majesty's Customs and Inland Revenue Service. (even the taxman uses spin nowadays).
So if anyone has info that H&H have done this, I suggest they get in touch with the above interested party. VAT fraud is a serious offence.

And we do seem to have temporarily lost sight of the cash angle here. The H&H crowd - we are unsure of how many of them there are - would have needed to keep body and soul together during the timespan of this charade. They had a low overhead operation, but even one of these costs money to keep going. Even if we say a modest £15-20k per scammer per annum, we are talking a sizeable sum. There is no way they were making this amount by selling false contracts, so they must have been relying on other financial means as well - accrued cash/bankloans/investors/partners loan's - and they're only the legitimate ones.

The most likely reason for H&H doing a moonlight is that their cash resources ran low or dried up. Most business ventures that go down the toilet usually do so in their third year of trading - any accountant will tell you this. It is not improbable that there are banks/credit card companies and other creditors after these people. The reason for the step-up in positive bulletins was to keep people off their backs while they made good their exit.

Private Eye and Stuart Hades have been exposed, but it's my belief there may be other Hill personas posting here - or that new ones may appear.

I've said before that this is a novel that's writing itself. This thread will run and run.
 
Last edited:

Dollywagon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
0
There are of course, other reasons for setting up what is essentially a fake business ...

Whether you believe there was a lot of money involved in the agency business or not, someone has gone to an awful lot of effort to maintain this sham for as long as possible.

I still think it is the authorities they are scared of, and for that there must be good reason.
 

SUNDIAL

Registered
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
32
Reaction score
0
Location
Beyond the Planets
molly99 said:
None of this makes us fools, it makes us human. It doesn't mean that we should abandon out ambitions to get published, but we will be wiser next time we sign a contract. And it doesn';t make us bad writers. If nothing else, we can all write better than Hill.

We're not going to get our money back, nor the time we have wasted with these morons. Lets not add our self respect to the things they have stolen from us.

I totally agree!

Move onwards and upwards.

By the way I PM'd Privateeye and asked him outright if he was The H Man.

He vehemently denied it of course, then went on at length about nothing.
 

UTB Professor

Registered
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
PrivateEye is Indeed Christopher Hill

"The news that Private Eye was in fact "Hill" shows just how devious and dishonest these creatures are. At least it might convince the few that are still harbouring a hope that a real contract is in the post to move on."

This was quoted above. And I have a further indication that PrivateEye is Hill. Keep reading:

I was one of the ones contacted privately by PrivateEye, also known as [email protected] who ostensibly had an ongoing investigation going. He was also in contact with Victoria, who, as far as I can see, is genuine. It is clear from all this that the esteemed Mr. Hill is trying to derail any possible investigations into his activities. Makes sense. We are alway on the verge of organizing against him, but he's seeing to it we don't The fellow clearly has no life beyond his computer terminal; but, my oh my, is he enjoying all this!

Mr. James D. Reardon (or James Dreardon; I don't know which it is), contacted me and various others. He was more than a bit circumspect with his personal details, for reasons of "personal security," I believe he said. I had just written, in Spanish, to the [email protected] address and received a reply from Justin Chambers (I'll post that in a moment), when he wrote the following to me at my AOL address (in boldface):

David

So however replied understood the Spanish? A good point if nothing else. I hope you have more joy than me. I have the meeting on Wednesday but a prelim chat today didn't bode well. According to what we have at the moment we can only find about fifty clients? Some of those were not fee payers. Our wonderful police force wont touch this unless we find bigger incentive, in other words more money!

Still I am sure they will give some pointers come Wednesday.

Regards

Christopher Hill

Whoops! When I called him on it in a subsequent email, he wrote (bold):

David

Sorry I pasted over an e-mail I had origianally intended to send to you! Apologies!!

Notice the spelling? Who else do we know who consistently spells poorly? When I asked "James" what he was sending me, he wrote (bold):

David

The e-mail I was giong to send was the last message I had from the Hill address.

This mentioned the fact that he was attending Frankfurt, I thought this would be helpful for your meeting.

I have pasted this below.


James

We are currently very busy is regards of attending the Frankfurt bookfair, I will deal with the matters raised upon my return.

Regards

Christopher Hill

The only thing is, I hadn't asked for such a thing. Not to mention, had James actually inserted this into his email, it would have made absolutely no sense at all. It was, in short, a very poor effort to cover up his mistake.

By the way, "James," I have, as stated in our emails, gone to the American FBI with this. The case has been referred to their cybercrime unit. I suggest that everyone here file a complaint as well: the address is: IC3.gov

My advice for everyone on this forum, which is quite clearly being directed by Mr. Hill himself in order to sow mistrust and shut down any investigation: don't trust anyone who won't verify their identity satisfactorily to you.

David E. Pearson, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
Behavioral Sciences Department
Academic Senate President
University of Texas at Brownsville
 

Olderbutwiser

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
74
Reaction score
0
Location
London
Dollywagon said:
You never know who to trust. As my nan used to say, "you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but never let your friends pick your nose."

Dolly, your nan was a wise a wise old lady. Nice goat, BTW.

Methinks that the duplicitous Mr Hill has been attempting a bit of "Divide and conquer". He has underestimated us. I thought the Hades postings dodgy the minute he informed us that this thread had been bought to his attention.

Chris, you need a good editor.
 
Last edited:

UTB Professor

Registered
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
Folks,
One final post, as promised. I had written the following to James:

James,
Given how Claire Ashton/Christopher Hill had such a difficult time answering all the emails sent by distraught clients to the [email protected] address, I opened a doramail account and sent him/her a letter in Spanish to see whether she/he responds. No doubt Hill knows someone is playing with him, but at the very least I've determined that, as usual, he's stationed at his computer sending out emails. What a (crooked) geek! My hope is that if we can get him to keep sending out emails he can be electronically tracked, opening the possibility for his ultimate arrest. In an hour I'm heading to the FBI office to see what, if anything, they can do.

In any case, for your amusement, below is a copy of the email I sent ("Maria" is my wife's mother's name).

Estimado Amigo,
Me da mucho gusto ponerme en contacto contigo para saludarte. De
manera que, si gustas, en uno de los viajes que tengo que hacer a
Almeria (el proximo el 29-30/09) nos podriamos vera para conversar,
pues de seguro que habra muchas afindades, aparte de los libros y la
vida intercultural, y asuntos para conpartir. Gracias por tu atencion
y en espera de recibir tus noticias recibe un cordial saludo.
Maria
--
_______________________________________________
Get your free email from
http://www.doramail.com
Powered by Outblaze

Translation:

Esteemed Friend,
I am delighted to be in contact with you and to send you greetings. Perhaps, if you like, on one of the trips that I have to make to Almeria (the next being on 29-30 September) we can get together to chat since we surely have a great deal in common, beyond books and an intercultural life, and experiences to share. Thank you for your attention and in anticipation of receiving your reply I send you a warm greeting.
Maria

And now, Justin Chambers' reply:

Maria

Please excuse my reply being in English. Though I am comfortable
with Spanish and able to converse adequately I feel I would be doing
your language am injustice to attempt reply.

Either I or one of my partners would be glad to meet with you, this
would probably be better in Ocotober but I am sure we can arrange
suitable time.

Please let me know any dates in October that would suit.

Regards
Justin Chambers
--
_______________________________________________
Get your free email from
http://www.doramail.com


Among other things from this I learned from this is that the time difference between Brownsville, Texas and wherever Chambers was is 8 hours. The only problem is that all of Spain has a 7 hour time difference from Brownsville. It appears from this that they are operating somewhere further east.

In any case, folks, I am proceeding with my own efforts to bring Mr. Hill/Chambers/Hades/Reardon/Ashton/et al. to justice. However cathartic this forum has been, it is utterly compromised. The esteemed "Mr. Hill" continues to manipulate us.

Best Wishes to you all.
David Pearson
 

MildlyMiffed

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
67
Reaction score
0
Location
Galway
Hi UTB,

Can you paste the full email message header into a post on here? The UK is 8 hours ahead of Texas, and an hour different form Spain...

Cheers
 

SUNDIAL

Registered
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
32
Reaction score
0
Location
Beyond the Planets
Brainwave!

Of course there is a good deal of participation on this site by the Hill Tribe.
Why do you think they sent us here?
 

MildlyMiffed

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
67
Reaction score
0
Location
Galway
It does seem rather odd that they sent us here, but as was mentioned before - perhaps that was a side line move to get us looking the other way...
 

Dollywagon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
0
I don't think they sent you here at all, not until they had to anyway.

Their company had been mentioned before, and as on another site, Mr Hades was sent it to place a couple of posts to reassure everybody.
Then, the whole thing kicked off again. Mr Hades popped in to do his reassurance thing but unfortunately this is a popular site and the negatives seriously outweighed the positives (for them) very quickly.

It started to become apparent that somebody was going to take action, that was when PE came in. He got the flock back under control and guided them in the direction he wanted them to go, whilst whatever being shifted/moved went on elsewhere.

I don't think they wanted this at all. But they had to play the game, and I'm sure, got a kick out of manipulating everybody once again. Not only that, but they managed to get a really good grip on the mindset and attitude of everybody involved either via the boards or PM's.
 

Dollywagon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
0
You can see now why I hate fiction ... reality is much more intriguing.

You can also see why I don't get published. Editors always think my non -fiction stuff is way over the top!
 

Olderbutwiser

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
74
Reaction score
0
Location
London
UTB Professor said:
"

We are currently very busy is regards of attending the Frankfurt bookfair, I will deal with the matters raised upon my return.

Regards

Christopher Hill
I really thought I'd never have to wince at at "in regards of" again. If my memory serves me correctly, when Claire Ashton replied to Geoff, didn't she warn James Dreardon not to "rattle her cage"?

What was all that about? And surely Hill wouldn't dare show his face(s) at Frankfurt?