BENNINGTON -- Legal woes continue to mount for a Manchester publisher convicted of a $200,000 fraud scheme, the latest round alleging that he violated a condition of his probation by publishing an e-book through Amazon.
In April 2013, Peter Campbell-Copp, 65, was placed on probation after he pleaded no contest to 15 felony counts of false pretenses, one count of theft of services, and four misdemeanor counts of bad checks.
Campbell-Copp defrauded dozens of authors and one printer out of roughly $200,000. He would make agreements for the authors to give him between $8,000 and $10,000 to have their books put together and published, however Campbell-Copp would not live up to his end of the bargain. Police said what he did resembled a Ponzi scheme.
He was sentenced to serve six months in prison, then another six months on home confinement, along with a 20-year suspended sentence and indefinite probation.
"You shall not be employed or work in the book publishing business or similar fields," is a condition of his probation. According to court documents, on Feb. 16, 2014, he violated this by authoring the e-book "Dance of the Fireflies (The Adventures of Jonathan Sage)," and putting it up for sale through Amazon.com for $2.99.
Campbell-Copp denied violating his probation and was released under his existing conditions.
The book appears to be still available on Amazon.com. "Lost them. Where were his new friends? They had secrets to tell. Something about opening an unusual door just for him. Little did Jonathan know, he was about to wake up to a journey that would carry him to the heart of a land that had been lost for four hundred years," reads the description on Amazon. "In the sequel to Thunder in October, Jonathan is still the Caretaker’s son living at the Hildene Estate in Vermont. Danger and the unknown have challenged Jonathan and his friends before, and at the turn of a page, another adventure is set to begin."
Campbell-Copp is listed as the author of "Thunder in October," which is also available as an e-book on Amazon. Amazon user "Peter N Copp" posted a five-star review on "Thunder in October," saying it was written 17 years ago. The review indicates it is a children’s book and "teaches children correct principles dealing with the danger of guns."
In October of last year, Campbell-Copp was charged with a new felony count of false pretenses. It was alleged that before his trial was set to start, he borrowed $28,000 from a woman under a false pretext with no intention of paying the money back as he promised. That charge remains pending.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.