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April 22, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 01:10 PM * 37 comments

It is with great joy that I report that Leann Murphy of the Desert Rose Literary Agency has been arrested by the Tom Green County, Texas, Sheriff’s office and charged with Theft by Deception, a felony.

Leann hasn’t yet been convicted, and so must be presumed innocent. (Though she was convicted of theft by checks back in 1997.) Given her record, if she’s found guilty, I expect she’ll do time.

More about Leann, her scam agency, and her arrest at Writer Beware.

A thread at Absolute Write dating back to February, 2005, and running through today, features appearances by her happy and true-believing clients.

What did Leann have to say about those sites and threads discussing her?

Beware of websites that insult, slander, or defame agents/agencies. Such websites are affiliated with agent association(s) and have a definite agenda. After all, can one expect that such websites truly care for any given person enough to spend their entire time, energy, and money in the pursuit of “protecting” you? These hosts, through the website(s) sponsored by such association(s) almost always do this to destroy independent agents/agencies. One indication of this is the fact that one such group has come up with what they call the “20 worst literary agents”, a list that is included on many of this groups’ websites. Of note is the fact that every single agent on the list is an independent agent, some of whom have been successful agents for 20-30+ years. There is not a single agent listed who is a member of the association associated with these individuals and their websites. Please be wary of these “hate” sites.

Hate sites? Yeah! Scam agents just hate it when we talk about them.

On 30 October, 2006, I got a personal note (nor was I alone in getting one) from someone who called him/herself “FantasyCoder,” and who I presume was Leann Murphy herself.

Here’s the text of that note:

you all are insane haha
Hello. I saw your post about IILAA…..and I just want to ask by which evidence do you and your friends on that website favor the idea of a scam?
I do know there are scams out there-people who take money and do not do their jobs……then again there are some writers who just plain….suck. They suck and they cannot handle disappointment or rejection so they turn their feelings outwards towards places who have made people like me successful.
I am not about hate…but I do wish to know why people try to attack others in such ways that are considered hateful.
IILAA is not Desert Rose…it is an organization which includes Desert Rose….I know…I have checked…I was skeptical too…..and as a published writer with Desert Rose, I will have to defend them in saying that I have never had a problem with them. It did cost a bit to get things going, but I do not expect ANYONE to work for me for free which is the essence of all those who post such hateful text…..I dont understand why people believe that they can get things for free…..it costs money to make money. The only ones I see making money are those who do and those who try-not those who complain that a scam is occurring which they cannot identify. This is also the mark of a mentally ill person. Sites such as the one I got your info. from seem to draw the attention of the mentally ill…..
I do not understand why sites such as the one you post on clone themselves all over the internet and act as if they know not about one another…..if anyone is involved in cyber-terrorism, scams or fraud-it is those websites who do those things. Having watched for a while now, I DO know that absolutewrite, writers beware, sfwa, and a few others are in fact run by the same people. It is called search engine bombing…and what it does is allows people to saturate the search engines with their content- until they search engine finds out-and bans them Some of us have connections that can make that happen at no cost. It is just a matter of code
Yes this can be done….
I am keeping my identity secret for now because I do not wish to waste my time reading or sifting through the mounds of hate email I may recieve as a result of expressing my opinion. God knows that sort of thing is not allowed on the kinds of websites that you post. Are you sure they are not run by Islam?

I feel I may be wasting my time writing this and sending it out to eveyr single person I can find…maybe I am……..just watch who you are in company with…there are people out there who are REAL scammers- and those like Victoria who are so good at scamming that they lead others to follow….trust me… I know all about her I would stay as far away from her and her organizations as I could if you dont want to end up in jail with her someday.
Have a great weekend!

I had an excellent weekend, and I’m about to have a better one. Infinitely better than the weekend (and all the weekends to come) that Leann’s facing.

Leann now joins the happy group that includes (but is not limited to) Dorothy Deering, Martha Ivery, George and Janet Kay Titsworth, and Melanie Mills.

I’m sure there are more to come.


Tom Green County, Texas
Jail ID 339385
Tom Green County Sheriff’s Dept.
Confined 04/09/2009 12:22pm
Released 04/09/2009 10:21pm

Defendant
Murphy, Leann Becknell
7433 Billo Dr
San Angelo, Tx 76901
White Female 5’ 5” 110 07/23/1959
Hair Blond or Strawberry
Eyes Green
SO# 18756

Alias
Desert Rose Literary Agency; Becknell, Leann

Cause Charge Disposition Bond
F09-029J3 THEFT PROP>=$1,500<$20K 04/09/2009 - Held $3000.00
Comments on Another One Bites the Dust:
#1 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 01:34 PM:

w00t!

After all, can one expect that such websites truly care for any given person enough to spend their entire time, energy, and money in the pursuit of “protecting” you?

Why yes, yes I do. And thanks to you all for it (-:

#2 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 01:41 PM:

Score another one for the forces of Truth, Justice, and Writing.

#3 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 01:44 PM:

Remember, kids, if you've been scammed by a literary agent, report the facts to law enforcement.

#4 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 02:07 PM:

For more of Leann's shenanigans, see the International Independent Literary Agents Association (IILAA). (Alas, defunct, but here's a discussion....)

#5 ::: DaveKuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 02:15 PM:

Anyone know if her theft of checks conviction was a felony charge?

#6 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 02:55 PM:

5 (or is it 6?) kills. That makes you an ace, right?

#7 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 04:26 PM:

Hmm. As I understand it, the *legal system* must presume Ms Murphy to be innocent. As independent and informed citizens, we may presume whatever we damn well please.

MKK

#8 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 05:09 PM:

I dug back in my archives and updated the post with a billet-doux I got from (I presume, because who else would defend her?) Leann herownself.

I like being popular.

#9 ::: Larry ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 05:17 PM:

Glad another got snagged.

@#5: Varies by state. Some states it is a felony offense, others a misdemeanor. Could also be based on the threshold. I know most states you can get jail time for any kind of check fraud. Might be based on amounts involved. A quick check makes it seem like Texas (if that is where she was convicted) doesn't treat it as a felony offense?

#10 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 05:31 PM:

Larry, 9: All thefts in Texas are divided up between felonies and misdemeanors based on the worth of whatever is stolen. I want to say the line is $1000, but I'm not at all sure about that. ISTR that lots of convictions for misdemeanor theft by check can get you charged with felony theft by check eventually, even if the dollar amount isn't enough by itself.

#11 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 05:33 PM:

Wow. "Are you sure they are not run by Islam?"

I hope they never, ever let her out.

#12 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 06:01 PM:

Xopher #11: Perhaps they're run by Manicheanism.

#13 ::: Micah ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 06:21 PM:

Leann hasn’t yet been convicted, and so must be presumed innocent.

Presumed innocent by the law. I'll presume much what I did before she was charged.

#14 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 06:31 PM:

Well, except saying she's guilty could end up being slander. Or writing it, libel. That's why the word 'alleged' appears so often in trial accounts, along with 'prosecutors say' and so on.

#15 ::: Sandra Bond ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 07:15 PM:

Already caught this news on Writer Beware, but I look forward to a medley of witty and snarky comments here, even if Leann does fall short of the Mother Squasher when it comes to absolute sheer flared-trouser fake-agent craziness.

#16 ::: Perle_Rare ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 07:19 PM:

A huge thanks to you Uncle Jim and to all who helped getting her, and others like her, charged and/or convicted. I am relieved I found sites such as AW and P&E before writing "The End" on my first novel. I would have been an easy target.

#17 ::: Hissy Stitch ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 09:01 PM:

Oh, my Dog. The terrible scam committed by agents who post "hate-filled" can be shut down by speshul sekrit code! Scawy! Then the ever-so-intelligent "Are you sure they are not run by Islam?" which of appears to be code for either "repressive" or "terrorist."

Of all the lame, ignorant, abysmally stupid... ::sigh:: But you all knew that already.

#18 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 09:34 PM:

Jim, I got a note from you-know-who. It consisted almost entirely of sound effects.

#19 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 12:03 AM:

A note from you-know-who?

To: TNH
Fm: Lord Voldemort

Subj: Ssssss

Ssss sss sssss s ss sss sssss sss sss! Ss sss ss sss ss ss sss sss sssssss sss ssssssss, ss ssss ss sss sssss sss sss. Sss sss sssss?

Repectfully,

V.

P.S. Bwah ha ha ha ha!

#20 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 03:33 AM:

> are you sure they're not run by Islam?

That is *so* classy.

Happy news indeed!

#21 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 07:01 AM:

Odd thought that got into my mind, re: Making Light's scam warnings: It would be kind of weird if there had been some time when one team at the FBI monitored ML because our hosts are such dangerous radicals, while another team at the FBI monitored ML because of all those useful hints about scams.

#22 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 08:54 AM:

Dave: Answer to your #5 is at http://justice.co.tom-green.tx.us/CrimSearch/crimfrmd.htm

08/28/08-Fail To Identify Fugitive Intent Give False Info
Misdemeanor A
04/20/2009 Monday 9:00am JURY SELECTION

09/30/96-Theft (Checks - Insufficient)
Misdemeanor B
04/21/1997 Guilty Plea Regular Probation

04/04/94-Theft, Checks, Class B - Account Closed
Misdemeanor B
11/15/1994 No Conviction- Deferred Adjudication

07/18/91-Theft, Checks, Class B - Account Closed
Misdemeanor B
11/15/1994 No Conviction- Deferred Adjudication

09/10/85-Theft, Checks, Class B - Insufficient
Misdemeanor B
10/05/1988 Guilty Plea

----------

The '97 check case:



Cause Charge Bond
CPF*94-01117 THEFT (CHECKS - ACCOUNT CLOSED) NOBOND

97-00257L2 THEFT (CHECKS - INSUFFICIENT) $500.00
CF96019352 0115 FAIL TO APPEAR x 3 $1020.00
C95005877 0162 ISS OF BAD CKS 25 TO 50 x 5 $2870.00
C95005875 0163 ISS OF BAD CKS 50 TO 100 x 2 $1320.00
C95015579 0164 ISS OF BAD CKS 100 TO 150 x 2 $1520.00
C95017470 0165 ISS OF BAD CKS 150 TO 200 x 2 $1730.00
CP9502124 0161 CPF TOTAL OF 1 NOBOND


#23 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 09:14 AM:

In Texas:

An individual adjudged guilty of a Class B misdemeanor shall be punished by:
1) a fine not to exceed $2,000;
2) confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or
3) both such fine and confinement.

An individual adjudged guilty of a Class A misdemeanor shall be punished by:
1) a fine not to exceed $4,000;
2) confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year; or
3) both such fine and confinement.

#24 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 10:50 AM:

Here's what Leann had to say to one prospective client who was concerned by rumors of her arrest record:

I will be upfront with you and tell you that it was indeed me. When I was notified of the warrant (both times), I immediately went down to the courthouse and took care of the matter. I've NEVER spent a day in jail for anything. At that time, I was having serious health problems (now resolved) and was on a lot of medications (pain). The bad checks were written when I was not in the right state of mind. That was 11 years ago...I'm well past that problem now...Thank the Lord!

Alas, she's broken her streak of "never spent a day in jail for anything." When she was arrested for "FAIL TO IDENTIFY FUGITIVE INTENT GIVE FALSE INFO" she was confined on 08/28/2008 at 12:29pm and not released until 08/29/2008 at 07:27pm.

I do wonder what that was all about.

#25 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 02:49 PM:

(parody is a protected form of speech in BODY of the Constitution of the United States of America--not that that stopped the malevolent murderers who controlled the US Executive Branch 2001-2008 with their immoral and illegal searches and seizures, their election tampering, and their gulag arrest and detention policies....)

Where are have the scammers gone
Long time passing
Where have all the scammers gone
Long time ago.
Where have all the scammers gone
Some don't learn and are in jail,\
Ms Leann never learned,
Ms Leann never learned.

Where have all the spammers gone,
Long time passing,
Where have all the spammers gone
Long time ago,
Where have all the spammers gone,
They're still spamming ev'ryone,
Immune their payoffs worked,
Immune their payoffs work.

Where have all the fascists gone
Long time passing,
Where have all the fascists gone
Still free today,
Where have all the fascists gone,
They own the airwaves spew their lies,
Hear what the facists say,
Still spread their lies today.

Note: today was ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulation -- SethB has done some diatribing on the subject the US Government, software, and ITAR, over the years...) training day at work. Interesting it is that each individual instance of violation of ITAR can bring a fine of up to a million dollars and criminal prosecution and jail time--but the cold-blooded murder of "detainees" from waterboarding and other abuses which fit the shape and form of "cruel and unusual punishment and the term "torture" the facist mediamongers such as Mr Osgood of the Osgood File, regard as essentially patriotic in nature and preserving of "national security" and not only not heinous, not only not abominable, not only not criminal, but rather, behavior to LAUD and to promote and to continue as policy.

Personally, my feeling is that anyone promoting those techniques, deserved to be prosecuted at a minimum as accessory to assault, battery, and first degree murder....

#26 ::: Larry ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 05:19 PM:

@22/23 : So it was not a felony conviction. I wonder about that false info charge. Does that mean there was a warrant and she gave false identification at the time?

#27 ::: Larry ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 05:19 PM:

@22/23 : So it was not a felony conviction. I wonder about that false info charge. Does that mean there was a warrant and she gave false identification at the time?

#28 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 06:33 PM:

Jim: Alas, she's broken her streak of "never spent a day in jail for anything." When she was arrested for "FAIL TO IDENTIFY FUGITIVE INTENT GIVE FALSE INFO"...I do wonder what that was all about.

It looks as though she tried to lie her way out of going to jail:

TEXAS PENAL CODE:

Sec. 38.02. FAILURE TO IDENTIFY. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information.

(b) A person commits an offense if he intentionally gives a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has:

(1) lawfully arrested the person;

(2) lawfully detained the person; or

(3) requested the information from a person that the peace officer has good cause to believe is a witness to a criminal offense.

#29 ::: Helen ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 07:05 PM:

Run by Manicheanism -- I like it. That's the sound some old cars make when you're trying to start them; they say "manichean, manichean" over and over again, very fast.

#30 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 08:23 PM:

Terry, I wonder if there'd be a Constitutional challenge if the person, on being arrested and asked his/her name, address, and date of birth by a peace officer replied, "I refuse to answer on the grounds that it would tend to incriminate me."

#31 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2009, 08:36 PM:

Hee. I'd think so. I happen to think the combination of relative immunity (esp. in regards to felonies), which the police have in terms of powers to arrest is awful.

I also find the demands that one account for exactly who one is, at any demand, to be intrusive and offensive.

#32 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2009, 07:53 PM:

"Run by Manicheanism". Needs a good website badge:

Making Light, powered by Ormazd Bay, Lord of Light. Content managed by the Demiurge, made into goodness and light by Zurwān. Ahriman is in the details.

#33 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2009, 12:40 AM:

This thread, comment # 19 quotes mystereous email of sss's of various lengths.
Is this actually disemvowelled text? I am making an effort to reemvowel it.

Taking a dictionary scan of words that only have s and vowels (using a program I wrote in Python) I am trying to fill in the vowels so that it makes sense. (maybe even cheat and allow words with sometimes-y in them) but what of the words with six or seven or eight s's?

To: TNH
Fm: Lord Voldemort

Subj: Ssssss
"
Ssss sss sssss s ss sss sssss sss sss! Ss sss ss sss ss ss sss sss sssssss sss ssssssss, ss ssss ss sss sssss sss sss. Sss sss sssss?

Repectfully,

V.

P.S. Bwah ha ha ha ha!

translates to:

Subj.: Sissy-sass
I assess issues: you sasses us asses. I assesses sess essays! I sues sassy-ass sissy. Isis says ass's essays assise-assessee assays. Assessee-assises, I uses sissies. Oasis asses assesses ass's essays. Asses assise assesses?

Repectfully,

V.


[Perhaps others can make these sentences make more sense. Or perhaps it isn't worth the effort unless you have too much time on your hands]

#34 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2009, 04:37 PM:

Erik, what's really needed here is a Parseltongue converter for LeetKey.

#35 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2009, 08:58 AM:

*snerfle*
Rikibeth, Erik; thanks. I needed a laugh or two. (Others probably need some even more.)

#36 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2009, 07:37 PM:

I'll just repeat wot Suzanne @#1 said.

#37 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2009, 02:50 PM:

On the subject of scammy editors and the writerly ignorance they exploit...

does the opening line of this book's Amazon.com Review make anyone else twitch? Or is it just me?

(The book itself comes highly recommended, however. I have been thinking of picking up a copy.)

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