Manchester man named in fraud case
According to a Bennington Banner article, Copp defrauded authors and printers out of at least $170,000. Copp is suspected of taking money for making book deals and then not following through on getting the books published, according to officer Daniel Steere of the Manchester Police Department.
In addition to the three counts of false pretenses - which are felonies - Copp, 61, is also being charged with two counts of receiving value upon false statements, one count of false advertising, and one count of false statement as to financial ability, Bataille said.
"This has occurred over a period of time starting in 2006," said Bataille.
The amount of money that Copp usually asked for varied, according to Bataille. When he first started, Bataille said he would ask for about $5,000. However, there were other people who gave $7,500 or $8,500 to Copp. In one case Copp received $16,000, Bataille said.
Sally and Robert Treat - the owners and operators of Treat Veterinary Clinic - made plans with Copp to publish a book on veterinary medicine. But according to Sally Treat, Copp never followed through.
"I would say my husband and I were extremely disappointed in the job he did," Sally Treat said. "We were extremely disappointed that he did not follow through with his committment."
Sally Treat said that they made multiple calls to Copp when she and her husband did not see any movement on the project. "It was hard to reach him, but when we did ... he always gave us another deadline," she said.
The Treats book is still not finished as Sally Treat said Copp had promised them help in putting it together.
Harold Beebe of Dorset was another person who had dealings with Copp.
"He was going to write a book, a kids book, about the farm and the horse show and all the other things that go on around here," Beebe said.
According to Beebe, Copp spoke with him about doing the children's book several years ago. When the book was never published, Beebe said he contacted Copp.
"I've called him a few times and I've talked to him at meeting in Manchester and he said he was going to have it right off within two or three months when I talked to him," Beebe said. "He was head of the Manchester Historical Society and I saw him at a meeting."
Although there were only four victims involved in Bataille's portion of the case, he said he had delt with over 15 people and business entities that lost money in their dealings with Copp.
When contacted, Copp said that he had gotten behind in printing a number of books primarily due to health reasons.
"My health has been in bad shape for about a year now," Copp said. "I want to let everyone know they will be reimbursed for monies that they've paid me. I'm looking at making complete restitiution to everyone involved, hopefully before the end of the month here. Each one of them needs to know that they will be paid or they will be paid back."
When asked why solution was unable to be reached before charges were filed, Copp said it was the result of "misunderstandings" and his inability to communicate due to his health.
When the arraignment occurs in June, Copp said he hopes to resolve the issue in a positive manner.
"My plans for the outcome will be that everyone will be satisfied and if they're not we'll negotiate until they are," he said.
Lieutenant Michael Hall of the Manchester Police Department said they issued a citation for false pretenses to Copp for the Hinesburg Community Police Department to appear in court on June 27.
While the Hinesburg Community Police Department has filed charges against Copp, the Manchester Police Department is conducting their own investigation and it is possible Copp may be facing similar charges from them as well as the ones levied.
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