Turns out, Marla Singer isn’t the only one playing dirty.
Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club recently became the victim of an embezzlement plot by an accountant from his literary agency.
In a twist reminiscent of his own work, Palahniuk posted on his website that the scheme has left him almost close to broke.
Accountant Darin Webb reportedly fed him lies claiming that Palahniuk’s money hadn’t flowed in due to piracy or publishers being slow to pay royalties.
Palahniuk made a statement on his website claiming “All the royalties and advance monies and film-option payments that had accumulated in my author’s account in New York, or had been delayed somewhere in the banking pipeline, [were] gone. Poof. I can’t even guess how much income. Someone confessed on video he’d been stealing. I wasn’t crazy”.
Much like Palahniuk’s narrator from Fight Club, it must have been a relief to know that he wasn’t crazy after all.
Webb made unauthorised transfers from the agency’s bank accounts to his own, while slyly making changes to the agency’s accounting system to avoid getting caught red handed. Over the course of seven years, Webb had transferred payments ranging from US$1000 to US$75,000 which may allegedly total up to a whopping US$3.4 million.
Fortunately, his disappearing act wasn’t as effective as Tyler Durden’s and despite his efforts to go unnoticed, he has since been arrested by the FBI. Webb possibly faces up to 20 years in prison.
Despite the sorry state of his financial affairs, Palahniuk luckily won’t be sleeping on the streets, saying, “On the plus side, I’m incredibly rich. Rich beyond my ever imagining, with friends and readers who’ve rushed to my rescue. Since the crime was uncovered, people have offered their children’s college funds. They’ve offered to mortgage their houses to keep me afloat. They’ve come forward with legal advice and stop-gap, hands-on help.”
Palahniuk’s latest novel Adjustment Day was released earlier this month, so go on and help the guy out, will ya? If not, he might just end up going to support groups for real.
Source: Huffington Post, The Guardian