Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2013 Issue

Indictments Handed Down in Alleged Textbook Theft Ring

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Defunct Doorkeeper Textz website. Are those “kidz” running off with stolen books?

There is a right way to trade in books and a wrong way. This is a story about the wrong way. Los Angeles area textbook wholesaler Doorkeeper Textz obtained its books in a very wrong way according to an indictment handed down by a Los Angeles County Grand Jury recently. That an occasional bookseller, like any other merchant, could go wrong is not astonishing, though disappointing. What is surprising is how many public employees he allegedly was able to get to participate in his scheme. This is public service at its worst.

 

According to the indictment, Corey Frederick, proprietor of Doorkeeper Textz in Long Beach, found a dozen different public employees who embezzled books for his business in return for bribes. They worked for schools in L.A. and surrounding communities, some in warehouses where textbooks were kept, others were even librarians. Reportedly, he went so far as to sell some of the books back to the schools from which they were pilfered.

 

According to the indictment, Mr. Frederick offered bribes to various employees in return for text books under their control. These were no small payments. Some ran as high as tens of thousands of dollars. The indictment does not spell out how many books were taken, nor their value, but considering the size of the bribes, they must have been substantial. The indictment claims the following bribes were made by Frederick:

 

An Inglewood School District Plant Manager - $1,110.

An Inglewood School District Librarian - $4,200.

Unnamed Inglewood official or employee - $23,708.

A Bellflower School District Warehouse Supervisor - $47,728.

A Lynwood School District Librarian - $14,214.

A Los Angeles School District Office Technician - $34,718.

Another Los Angeles School District Office Technician - $4,675.

Yet another Los Angeles School District Office Technician - $21,573.

One more Los Angeles School District Office Technician - $6,099.

Oh these L.A. District “Office Technicians” - $4,003.

What is with these Office Technicians? - $1,191.

You guessed it. Another Office Technician - $12,798.

 

Obviously, the Los Angeles School District needs to do a better job of screening its office technicians. That aside, one can only wonder how so many people could be corrupted. How was Mr. Frederick, if the allegations are true, able to round up so many people in public service without someone notifying the authorities? The alleged crimes took place between 2008-2010, but were not discovered until more recently.

 

From this list, we come up with $176,000 in bribes. While we don't know the value of the stolen merchandise, it must have been substantially more for someone to take on the risk and responsibility for selling it all. This represents a lot books, and now, sadly, a lot of bookings.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.

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