“I’m one of Cochran’s victims”
Dear Fans against fraud,
I paid for one of these extra deluxe Last Unicorn books in 2009 and never received my copy. I’ve posted a full list of “buyers” on your webpage and wanted to forward this e-mail I received from an “anonymous former employee” – FYI.
Thanks for bringing up the topic after such a long time! I’ve been trying to contact news sites about this issue – I have contacted a few other “buyers” about your page.
The list I got in an e-mail from the end of 2009 extends to 182 people. Years later I contacted a few of the other “buyers”. They thought the book had been lost in the mail and didn’t do anything about it. In the last couple of days there was a newsletter from Coclan Press that Connor had employed new customer service staff. A guy (Chris Rickert) answered very quickly. He assured me that Connor is still working on the sketches for this 2009 order. But I’m not sure, if this is just the same sweet-talking scam. Here is the original e-mail from Connor with all 180 names.
(Correction: Rickert is female.) It raises the victim list to over 260 sales (we have been told there are at least 350). It adds new evidence to a point we raised – “6) Fraud was done with classic con games and manipulation of victims.”
A reader commented about the list of “Extra Deluxe” Last Unicorn book buyers:
Did separate lists manipulate people to think there were fewer buyers than there really were, so they believe they might not wait long? (5 years later, still waiting…) A red flag: no edition limit was mentioned. 79 sales are documented here, but at least 350 are reported.
If you have other lists, please send them to help other victims!
The above deception caused Conlan Press employee Michael Bolger to quit his job and send the warning below. This “old” issue remains to this day:
Fwd: The real status of that signed Last Unicorn book that you all have been waiting so long for.
Tue, 2 Oct 2012
Anonymous Former Employee
Up until recently I was an employee at Conlan Press where you all bought your copies of EXTRA DELUXE LAST UNICORN HARDCOVERS — with extra handwritten story text by Peter S. Beagle and unique unicorn sketches by Connor Cochran. I just quit my job, in large part because of how Connor is handling this disaster and how honest he’s being with all of you. I think you deserve to hear the truth. Here it is.
When I was hired 15 months ago Peter Beagle had long since completed his end of the handwritten pages and personalization for all the books. The impression that I got was that they had been done for a while, but I know for a fact that they have all been done for at least the last 15 months and you are just waiting on Connor and his sketches.
Connor has completely blown off this project and hasn’t even done a single sketch in almost 5 months now. In the 15 months that I was at Conlan he only finished 26 sketches.
And he still has 255 books to go.
At his current rate, it will take him around 12.3 years to finish the remaining books.
That’s on top of the several years you all have already been waiting.
I’ll let you all meditate on those numbers for a moment.
Now I’m guessing that the majority of you paid all this money for the Peter Beagle book with the Peter Beagle personalization and the Peter Beagle handwritten pages and you could care less about the sketch by “Peter Beagle’s Business Manager”, especially if that’s what’s holding up the process. Am I right?
Well, when customers have called in and asked for their book to be sent to them without the sketch Connor has refused. And you want to know why? He’s scanning these sketches and wants to compile them for a future book.
So this guy is holding all your unicorns hostage because he wants to sell you the same unicorns at a later date.
Yeah. That’s not tacky or weird or anything.
My advice on how to get your books:
Go public. I’m sending this email out to small groups of you at a time but I have no idea how many of you will get this email and how many will not because it gets flagged as spam.
Get on facebook (I hate to promote that website but it really is one of the most efficient ways to quickly communicate with large groups of people) and air your grievances. Go to Peter Beagle’s facebook page and air your grievances. Those posts will get deleted, of course, but at least that will force them to start taking you seriously.
You can call Connor directly @ 650-267-9651 and ask him to send you your book without the sketch. He will refuse, of course, but if you want to speak to the guy that’s holding your book hostage there he is.
Peter and Connor will be @ Comic Con in New York next week in the artist alley. Peter is a sweet old man that is oblivious to a lot of things in life, including everything on the business end of things. He’s a nice enough guy, but there’s just something about Peter’s karma that’s like a magnet for con men.
And Connor (Get it? Con-er) also really isn’t a bad guy… or at least I’ve seen him do good. He just has a very arrogant ego the size of a small planet, a messiah complex, and possibly some mental health issues. Normal people don’t act this way. Getting the guy to part with these books is like talking to Haggard about his unicorn hoarding problem.
And finally, I’d like to apologize to all of you for failing to get you your books. I gave it my best shot, I really did. And even in this psycho economy where the real unemployment is around 20% I just quit a job that was paying the bills because I felt it was the right thing to do.
Good luck to you all –
UPDATE – Since handing in my letter of resignation Connor is now claiming that he “did a few books over the weekend” OK. Fine. I’ll give that to him. Still does not change the fact that in the 15 months I was there he only completed 26 books and that he still has 250 some to go.