In a move that only surprised people who havent heard of Tate Publishing & Enterprises, the companys founder Richard Tate and CEO Ryan Tate were arrested Thursday after Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter charged them with multiple felonies, including embezzlement, extortion and racketeering.
We are very focused on this. There now have been more than 800 complaints, and we are going to look into each one of them, Hunter said at a press conference last week.
Tate Publishing was a Mustang-based vanity press for mostly Christian literature and music. It ceased operations in January, leaving many authors and creditors unpaid.
Maybe that has something to do with this:
A review of bank records shows that monies derived from the sale of publishing or music production services were deposited into business checking accounts and then transferred to Ryan Tate and Christy Tate and/or Richard Tate and Rita Tates personal checking accounts, wrote Agent Elizabeth Fullbright in a probable cause affidavit.
But wait; theres more!
Bank records also show that the $50 processing fee checks from authors, made payable to Tate Publishing, were deposited directly into both Tate Publishing checking accounts and the personal bank account of Richard and Rita Tate. Richard and Rita Tates account appears to be used for personal transactions, including dining and entertainment at casinos in Oklahoma, the affidavit continued.
The investigation has been ongoing since at least 2015. The business first blasted into public consciousness in 2012 after leaked audio of a no-good, very bad staff meeting led by Ryan Tate hit the media. In it, he called his employees morons and cowards and considered the firing of 25 staff members retaliation for an email an employee allegedly wrote concerning rumors that the company would outsource many of its Oklahoma jobs to the Philippines.
By the way, the company did send jobs to the Philippines. And judging by an all-Philippine Facebook group called We Hate Ryan Tate, that didnt go so well either.
News reports show that employees there werent paid for their work as Tate Publishing filed for bankruptcy.
Locally, former Tate employees took to the interwebs to comment on Richard and Ryan Tates recent arrests.
That day when #Oklahomas Tate Publishing prayerfully bullied, belittled workers, then fired them. Now, karma, tweeted @dezhill.
There is a large group of former Tate Publishing employees celebrating right now, tweeted @Mister_Sommer.
Tate Publishing: We are back open for business, yall! Also Tate Publishing: Yo, can somebody help us make bail? tweeted @anyarizm.