Publishing’s Biggest Scammer Has Got Merch Now

Fans of Filippo Bernadini ironically cash in

Did you guys hear about Filippo Bernardini earlier this month? Better known as the publishing scammer? For at least five years, someone had been stealing unpublished manuscripts in a phishing scheme that targeted prominent authors, agents and editors—including Ethan Hawke, Margaret Atwood, and millennial queen Sally Rooney. Not only was the 29-year-old Simon & Schuster UK employee unmasked this month—he’s got himself some fans.

One of my favorite unhinged Instagram accounts, @publishersbrunch, is selling millennial pink merch in Bernardini’s honor, reading, “publishing scammer.” Fans can normally rely on the meme page to poke fun at whatever’s eating Literary Twitter that day, but their love of Bernardini is next level.

The Instagram account Publisher’s Brunch takes on Filippo Bernardini, relentlessly. (

“do you guys think he’ll accept my request to connect?” they wrote alongside a screenshot of Bernardini’s LinkedIn profile.

And, honestly, that’s kind of the vibe throughout literary Twitter about Bernardini. I mean what writer do you know that doesn’t kinda feel like a scammer as it is?

“[It] kinda sounds like he just wanted to read the books lol,” said writer Kevin Nguyen in response to Publishers Brunch. And another wrote, “using my jr staffer privilege to cancel the FBI for this.”


This is a very funny end to this story, and it makes me very happy. Filippo fans forever.

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Katie Smith

Katie Smith is a Philadelphia-based writer. Find her on Instagram @saddy_yankee for cat pics.

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