Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2013 Issue

Indictments Handed Down in Alleged Textbook Theft Ring

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

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
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    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
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    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
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    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
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    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
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    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000

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