Connor Cochran’s motive for defrauding and attacking Peter Beagle, explained by a reader.

Why – The short answer is $$$, and the long answer is about covering up.  Cochran is desperate to deflect notice towards Peter’s supposed “health problems” – and away from his own history of predatory business scamming.

“Cochran induced Beagle to transfer his intellectual property rights to a sham corporation, appropriating this property with intent to defraud Beagle.” – (Peter’s lawsuit p. 5)

Avicenna was the sham corporation formed in 2008 by Cochran (with his disgraced ex lawyer friend.) It was supposedly made for Peter Beagle to share ownership 50/50. The other 50% was Cochran’s, with Conlan Press doing all the public business (and cheating so many fans). He promised to bring in multiple authors, but Beagle’s work remains the entire source of value – and Cochran refuses to account for the money.years

This reader lays it out point by point:

“Connor’s arguments about people preying on Peter – mostly directed at Peter’s girlfriend – all circle back to his assertion of Peter’s lawsuit being the only reason the movie deal didn’t work out (and Connor is also blaming Peter’s withdrawal from having anything to do with Conlan/Avicenna as the reason other book projects have not yet gone to press. Conlan’s projects are FOREVER “…about to go to press.”) There’s NO OTHER WAY to show harm. And every time Connor has to argue about Peter’s mental capacity, he rolls out the same story about Peter demanding Connor give him his mother’s ashes, which Connor says he already had – whereas MANY people can counter Connor’s claims by relating examples of having perfectly lucid and lengthy conversations with Peter.

And Connor’s only real argument for “helping” Peter – the argument that the negative influence of others that is causing Peter to make harmful or bad decisions – has to do with the lawsuit, and loss of the Japanese investor interest in the potential movie [1] – because what other benefit does Peter gain by associating with Conlan/Avicenna/Connor otherwise? Conlan is a Beagle signature factory that hasn’t published anything, and everything they DO sell is published by other companies; the film tour investors are suing Connor for not paying them or even accounting for the money; Connor lost another lawsuit for taking money from a teacher who wanted to be an author by promising to use the money to publish her books, and never did [2]; and there are thousands of fans and volunteers who never get things they paid for. [3]

And, if ANYTHING Connor claims about Peter’s health is true, then the days of endlessly signing books and doing movie roadshows should be over. So what value is there in enlisting the kids to gain conservatorship? Simple: Connor gains control over the part of Avicenna – and the rights to ALL of Peter’s work – that Peter can and is contesting [4]. And Connor can then dangle the unlikely prospect of millions of dollars pouring in from film investors in front of Peter’s heirs. That’s the only reason, because IF their claims about Peter were true, he should not continue working at even close to the pace Connor had been working him before.”

“If their claims are NOT true, then why try to make such a claim? Because otherwise, Peter IS in his right mind, and is justified in separating himself from a business that is both built entirely on his work and reputation, while being managed so poorly it is destroying both. If Peter prevails, Connor would have to make a full accounting to EVERYONE about all of the money: to the fans, about the sales of books that have not shipped, and of books that have not even been PRODUCED yet, in some cases, for more than a decade now;  to the tour volunteers, who were promised gifts that have never been sent; to investors in the tour, who were offered impossible returns, and yet have not received one penny in repayment or a single accounting of how the money was spent; and to Peter, whose work provides Connor’s SOLE INCOME, and which has allowed Connor to live in million-dollar homes while the creator of the work itself lived in apartments.” [5]

evicted

Connor’s full time occupation is running Conlan Press… the money Peter’s work generated has been his own sole income.

“If nothing else, if NOTHING else, Peter should be receiving money from the sales of the ebooks – which were launched en masse AFTER the lawsuit was filed – and the sales of the books that have happened since, plus a portion of the money from the screenings of the film – which continue without his involvement. But Connor/Conlan/Avicenna refuses to give any accounting, much less any payment [6], and Peter is having to rely on being paid by other editors and publishers who will work with him directly for new work [7]. It’s only speculation to assume that the argument would be that Conlan and/or Avicenna owns the rights, and thus owes no accounting or payout to Peter under whatever contractual terms Connor talked him into – but as Conlan Press and Avicenna are built IN THEIR ENTIRETY on the work of Peter Beagle, then any money came to those entities FROM the work of Peter Beagle, so it’s easy to see who benefits most from maintaining the status quo. And as Connor’s full time occupation is running Conlan Press, if he is withholding anything from Peter because those entities control the rights, then he’s only been able to do so because of the money Peter’s work generated, which has been his own sole income.

This whole conflict has NOTHING to do with Peter’s health – which Connor claims has been a problem for a LONG time but which somehow never stopped him from touring with Peter and taking him to conventions – and EVERYTHING to do with the shoddy way that Connor has run Conlan Press. Period.”

His legal docs claim he was Peter's "ghostwriter"
His legal docs claim he was Peter’s “ghostwriter”

We spoke further with this reader. They reported that there are many people who have closely observed Cochran, who until recently steered clear of speaking because of retaliation against anyone who does. We’re happy to share those secrets here. And the public discourse about this scandal is now refocusing away from Peter’s health – Cochran’s primary diversion tactic – and back towards this fact:

“he is a terrible and unethical businessman who uses everyone around him.”

About his conduct towards Peter:

“…underhanded and despicable.  And then seeing things like that teacher who sued him – he never intended to use her money to publish her books – convinced me that it was all a massive house of cards.  And her win against him should be what the Sandbox people focus on, because he scammed then in the exact same way: offer grandiose returns on a debt that he does no accounting for. Because he never planned to pay a penny.”

The kids’ position is also clear from a comment Kalisa made on one of those other stories, about how Peter signing 5000 apology notes was a part of his contract. They have clearly bought into Connor’s savior angle, and don’t see the thing Peter was signing apology notes for was another one of Connor’s failed schemes.

Please keep doing what you’re doing.  Peter deserves far better than to have his life destroyed by someone like Connor Cochran.”

apologies

And the reader followed up:

“Where order fulfillment is concerned, there has long been a pattern of confusion and apparent forgetfulness on Connor’s part. Many, many people can testify to having had Connor promise something will be delivered, only to never have it happen. Perhaps this is indicative of a greater memory problem – in which case maybe someone claiming to have only his best interests at heart should legally file for conservatorship over him and his business dealings.”

“… and let’s say somehow Connor and Peter’s children’s effort to gain conservatorship over Peter is successful. How does that change ANYTHING with regards to how Conlan Press has been run? Connor has stated over and over again that it’s Peter’s health that has necessitated halting his participation in the film tour…so if Peter really is struggling with health and/or memory issues that will prevent him from being as involved in the sales operations as he had been, then what does the conservatorship do for ANYONE other than removing the right of a partner – Peter – to sue the other?  Conlan will continue selling things they can’t be bothered to deliver; they’ll still be sued by Sandbox for not repaying the tour investment; and Connor may think he can go do a new movie deal without Peter – but investors will be aware that he only got control of the rights by forcibly taking them away from a beloved creator.”

helpsavebeagle

lawyer

<> at Jacob Javitz Center on October 12, 2014 in New York City.

[1]  Reader misspoke about “Japanese” investors (meaning Chinese) for a new live-action movie.  See below screenshots of Cochran’s claims on 12/10/15. They are full of defamation against Peter and incredible distortions:

  • Cochran was sued by his investors after making the comments – guess how likely it is to restart a deal.
  • Cochran pretends he meant to make Peter “co-owner” of the movie.  But his manipulative comments to this reader put it far into the future of an elderly man… and a decade wait for products he sold still hasn’t produced them.
  • He denies there is benefit from false claims about Peter’s health – read it above.
  • He claims a lawyer who knew Peter dismissed his claims, which indicates Richard Mooney. He served Cochran to take over the movie rights and now represents Cochran as a very self-interested crony in attacking Peter.

[2] Cochran was sued for taking $25,000 from an elderly teacher, and breaking their contract to publish her book.  Cochran’s defense is accurately described as gaming the system.  Rather than settling as a sane person would, Cochran dragged her through the mud with a frivolous countersuit.  She won an arbitration judgement (the only judgement in the case).  That should be that, but not for a frivolous litigant.  Cochran gamed the system by paying taxes to re-open a suspended corporation, only to get a new trial under corporate veil. It was a flimsy defense that ran up costs without chance for him to win, simply to make her cut losses.  It’s likely the only time his suspended corporation paid taxes was to block justice for victims.  It could not save him from losing another lawsuit in 2015 (search case 511166.)

[3] Here and here are volunteer reports.  Products sold and not delivered since 2005 include audiobook CD’s and ‘Two Hearts”, “Extra Deluxe” Last Unicorn books, the “Writing Sarek” book never to be produced without Peter, movie tour edition books, and more that can’t be accounted for. Even before taking over Peter’s career, Cochran was soliciting sales for his own book that appears never made.

[4] Peter’s lawsuit is seeking recission of contracts because they were made with fraud and to deprive him of his rights.

[5] Cochran’s homePeter’s apartment loss involved Cochran’s control of his lease.

[6] Slight correction – Cochran’s ebook launch was October 2015, shortly before a lawsuit but when he knew it was coming. Peter had hired a fiduciary in September to manage his finances; Cochran got a crisis manager.  After lawsuit, sales promotion grew but Peter never received any money.

[7] Denied pay he is owed, Peter is relying on honest publishers such as Tachyon.

Connor: The King of Empty Promises

7 thoughts on “Connor Cochran’s motive for defrauding and attacking Peter Beagle, explained by a reader.

  1. “…Peter signing 5000 apology notes was a part of his contract…”

    About those apology notes: Even if it were part of his contract, and correct me if I’m wrong, I thought the issue was that he had been forced (or highly pressured) to sign all 5000 of them in one sitting, without breaks.

    ***No matter what a contract says, a worker is entitled to breaks and rest in the US.

    • The daughter’s comment was “This is full of inaccuracies & exagerations, which Ms. Winegarner wouldn’t be aware of. As Peter’s own son said about his father: “…he’s a train wreck who can talk the birds out of the trees.”
      For example, “…he says Cochran forced him to personally sign 5,000 apology notes to his fans, leaving him exhausted and in pain.”
      1) This type of task was in his contract.
      2) My husband was personally with him during this process, sitting with him in a cafe to help keep him focused. The process was peacefully spread out over several days, and Peter had meals, coffee & breaks. The only thing that got Peter agitated was when Carlisle would incessantly call him to berate him – which has been her pattern for years.”

      So his recollection is different than the people trying to get conservatorship over him but that seems to be the whole problem and not really a surprise.

      • No surprise at all, Lir.

        And I don’t understand why there couldn’t have been one typed apology note that simply said, “Dear Fan…” that Peter couldn’t have signed, and that they couldn’t have made 5000 copies of.

        • YES, THAT. The personally signed postcards were some sort of apology to fans for cancelling a bunch of appearances, but whose idea was that? When Peter’s autograph is worth money, which is how they charge extra for signed books, why give it away just because the appearances were cancelled?

          • Oh, where to start with the Jonestown vibe coming off of Kalisa’s comments about her father.

            > “As Peter’s own son said about his father: ‘…he’s a train wreck who can talk the birds out of the trees'”

            Really, has anyone, ever, said such a thing about Peter before? Sure that wasn’t Connor? There isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that isn’t straight from Connor’s lying lips. Coaching all of them. You know how to tell – It’s his indelible signature of projection and doublespeak.

            And she admits having someone managing him. That isn’t suspicious…

            Interesting comment here: the signatures was forcing him to “eat shit to his own fans”, saying “I own you, don’t get uppity”, and “like he punished Beagle for trying to escape abuse like you make a little kid write lines on the chalkboard.”

            The sheer pointlessness of forcing a talented writer to robotically sign apologies with so much of his valuable time leaves no other conclusion. That’s just Misery-style punishment. So glad he stood up to it with a much needed lawsuit.

  2. I’m wondering who actually got the 5000 postcards, since the excuse for not delivering swag to tour volunteers is that the address information got misplaced or lost. So, are the postcards being handed out, or mailed, or what?

    And in that thread you linked to Kevin there’s this quote from Connor “Also, none of the money from THE LAST UNICORN: THE LOST VERSION is going to pay my lawyers. It really is going towards covering my rent guarantee to Peter’s landlord, as is described elsewhere in this thread. You don’t have to believe that one either, but even Peter’s lawyer knows it is true.”

    Connor posted that four months ago but Peter was recently forced to move, and the financial person he hired said that she hasn’t seen any money from Connor since September, so no money was going to Peter from the sale of that ebook or any of the others and clearly no money was going to Peter’s landlord. So that’s the question: if after Peter started the lawsuit Connor still said sales of that book were going to the landlord payment but then Peter was forced to move, what is Connor’s reasoning for not paying?

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