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PostPosted: October 12th, 2005, 3:51 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1860
This alert may be reprinted/redistributed freely. Please spread the word so all victims will have a voice in this matter. -Angela Hoy, WritersWeekly.com

JANET KAY & ASSOCIATES WILL GET OFF EASY - BIG TIME!
May not be required to pay full, agreed-upon restitution? No jail time?!
By Angela Hoy, WritersWeekly.com

SEND YOUR COMPLAINTS TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, THE U.S. ATTORNEY AND THE JUDGE HIMSELF!

As you may all remember, Janet Kay & Associates (including her husband George Titsworth) were accused of ripping off hundreds of hopeful authors in a horrible scheme of deceit. With the help of many writing websites and discussion lists, she and her husband were finally caught, indicted and arrested.

Months later (last week), we received an email from the District Attorney letting us know the Titsworths plan to plead guilty in November, will serve no prison time, and have agreed to pay restitution...even though they don't have the money. The terms of the deal are a bit vague, but are included below. I'm no lawyer, but this is what I believe all the bantering means.

Even though the district attorney knows Janet and George don't have the money, he's letting them plead guilty, serve no jail time, and promise to "pay" $100K in restitution. He said, "There's a difference between the restitution ordered and the judgment obtained. Realistically, they can't pay the full amount and the court will not set them up to fail by requiring repayment of the full amount during the term of the probation."

You, I, the district attorney, and everybody else know you can't make people pay money they don't have. And, if I understand the D.A.'s emails correctly, even if they don't pay, they won't go to jail (because they won't be required to pay the full amount during the "term of the probation"). So, you, the victims, won't get your money back, and Janet and George, after crushing the dreams (and wallets) of more than 500 alleged victims (per the Victim/Witness Coordinator), get to just go on with their dishonest lives.

Does this anger you? Yes, I'm furious, too!

The D.A.'s emails indicate he thought he'd have a hard time getting victims from out of state to testify. I don't believe this would have been the case given the number of victims (enough manuscripts "to fill a jail cell" according to the initial investigator). Again (this warrants repeating!), the district attorney then allowed them to offer to plead guilty in exchange for payment of $100K in restitution...which, according to the D.A., they don't even have, and may never be required to fully pay anyway.

The D.A. then explained this guilty plea would make it easier for the victims to sue in civil court - meaning, in my opinion, that he appears to be pushing the liability and expense of this entire criminal case on YOU, THE VICTIM, to be battled in civil court later - again, against two people who no longer have your money anyway! The District Attorney also assigns partial blame to the U.S. Attorney who rejected this case twice (they could have been tried on federal charges).

So, Janet and George get to walk away, probably won't ever have to pay the full amount - may never pay anything at all - nor serve any prison time, and if you want your money back, YOU'LL have to pay money to sue THEM.

Since Janet and George, according to the D.A. himself, don't have the money to pay restitution anyway, why in the world are they letting them go free? What went wrong?

Well, according to the District Attorney, they could have been prosecuted in federal court for alleged wire fraud, but the U.S. Attorney refused to take this case twice. If you are a victim, I strongly encourage you to voice your opposition about this decision to the U.S. Attorney. His contact information is below.

Let's face it folks. We're not talking about a dozen of so victims. We're talking about what the victim/witness coordinator claims may be more than 500 victims, some of whom were elderly and couldn't afford to lose anything! We're talking about a couple that claimed they were "Christians" in what appeared to be a way to create trust and to gather more victims! Their victims claim they even concocted stories about illness to further fool their victims! Something is terribly wrong with our justice system if you can rip off that many people, crush their dreams, empty their wallets, and walk away free while promising to pay money you and the courts know you don't even have!!!

A copy of the emails I exchanged with the D.A. are below. Please read them and form your own opinion about this ridiculous conclusion to years of pain and financial suffering caused by Janet Kay and George Titsworth.

EMAIL SENT TO KNOWN VICTIMS BY THE VICTIM/WITNESS OFFICE:

Dear Ms. Hoy:

George and Janet Kay Titsworth were indicted and
arrested on a charge of theft committed during the
operation of their business, Janet Kay & Associates.
The Titsworths will be entering a guilty plea in
November and will be receiving a sentence of 10 years
deferred adjudication probation and will be ordered to
pay a total of $100,000.00 in restitution. Our office
is trying to verify addresses so restitution can be
paid out & any confiscated manuscripts can be returned.
Please respond to this email with your correct address
so we can ensure that any restitution and manuscripts
will be correctly distributed.

Thank you,
Karla Johnston - karla.johnston@co.tom-green.tx.us
Victim/Witness Office
Tom Green County District Attorney's Office

MY RESPONSE:

Hi Karla,

I'm not a victim. We're a publication that helped alert
victims and warn potential victims. I will post your
note in our issue on Wednesday.

I'm very upset they won't do jail time. I believe the
$100K is just a drop in the bucket for the incredible
amount of financial and emotional harm they've done.
This is no more than a slap on the wrist. Please pass
our opinion along to the D.A. Looks like they took the
easy way out. Quite disappointing to my fellow writers
and quite encouraging to other scammers in the industry
who haven't been caught yet. I wonder if the victims
even had a say in this decision.

With that sentence and low fine, looks like Janet Kay &
Associates WON.

Angela Hoy
WritersWeekly.com

THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S RESPONSE:

Karla forwarded my email to the D.A. and he responded
by stating he had "limited authority" to subpoena out
of state witnesses but that the federal government, who
had more authority, had twice refused the case. He said
the victims wouldn't have received any restitution if
the Titsworths went to prison and that they'd be
required to pay "a substantial amount" up front. (In a
later email, he said, "Basically, I can probably only
get about 50% of the restitution out of them as a
condition of probation...") Hmmm...

He also said, in the initial email, that, by taking a
felony plea, they might still have to serve a maximum
prison term if they fail to successfully complete
probation. In a later email he said, "If they don't pay
the money ordered, then their probation can be revoked
and they can be sent to prison." But, again, as stated
above, he said, "Realistically, they can't pay the full
amount and the court will not set them up to fail by
requiring repayment of the full amount during the term
of the probation." If you interpret that the same way
as I do - it looks like they'll NEVER go to jail.

And, even if the D.A. manages to get half of the
judgment (not likely, in my opinion), that's $50,000.
Divide that by 500 victims (there may be more!), and
that averages $100 measly bucks per victim.

On October 10th, I asked the D.A. for the name and
address of the judge for this case. He didn't answer my
question so I obtained it from the Victim/Witness
Coordinator, Molly Thurman. It's near the end of this
article. The D.A. also asked me not to publish anything
until after the plea "to prevent polluting any
potential jury pool." I initially agreed, but that was
before I realized the victims weren't aware of all the
facts in this case (and before I heard from victims
that they hadn't been consulted about this deal).

MY OCTOBER 10TH EMAIL TO THE D.A.:

Hi Marshall,

We've received so many complaints about this situation
that I'm planning to publish this story this week. The
victims deserve to be heard and to know what's going on
now, before any final deal is signed by the judge.

Please let me know if you'd like to send an official
statement for publication. Our readers will want to
know exactly why Janet and George are walking free
while promising to pay money the government knows they
don't even have. The majority of victims we've heard
from also want to know why they weren't consulted about
this deal. They want the Titsworths to go to jail,
especially since they don't believe they'll see a dime
of any restitution anyway. It's pretty senseless to
tell victims they'll have to sue in civil court when
everyone knows the Titsworths are broke. The victims
don't want a worthless "I.O.U" from these crooks. They
want punishment.

Angela Hoy
WritersWeekly.com

THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S RESPONSE:

Angela -

I understand that people are frustrated. Here's the
dilemma I have - with a limited ability to subpoena
people from out of state, I would only have been able
to get 5-10 victims to testify. Even if a dozen
victims attended voluntarily, I probably still wouldn't
have had enough victims to get above $20K. Below $20K,
it's what's called a state jail felony, while above
$20K (up to $100K), it's a third degree felony. State
jail felonies are punishable by 180-730 days in jail,
while third degree felonies are punishable by up to 10
years in prison. They're pleading to a third degree
felony probation. If I had taken it to trial, I may or
may not have been able to prove up the state jail
felony level. If I did, they would almost certainly
have gotten probation anyway, since they are
non-violent offenders and the prisons in Texas are more
or less totally full. Even had I won, only the victims
that came and testified would have gotten restitution.

I may have had trouble proving up even the state jail
felony. Essentially, I would have about a dozen victims
saying that they sent the manuscripts in and that the
Titsworths farmed them out for publication
unsuccessfully and lied in various different ways. I
would have had an expert testify that the Titsworths
did not live up to the standards of literary agents.
However, the defense would undoubtedly have argued that
being bad at your job isn't a crime and that the
Titsworths were just bad at their job. He'd try to
explain their lies as simply encouraging the authors.
The key to making a publishing fraud case is the sheer
volume of victims. I would have had a lot of trouble
getting enough victims here to make the case.

Indisputably, the best place for this case was federal
court, where they could have easily proven wire fraud
and sent the Titsworths up for a long time. However,
the feds twice refused the case. I encourage you to
write the United States Attorney for an explanation of
why his office declined prosecution.

Marty Wilde

Well, readers, I'm not buying it. There's a tremendous difference between incompetence and what the Titsworths were doing and I believe even just one victim could easily convince the jury of that.

And, let's put this "deal" into perspective. Martha Stewart just lied to investigators. She got 5 months in prison. The Titsworths, who are alleged to have 500 VICTIMS, are going to walk.

VICTIMS, IF YOU DISAGREE WITH THIS "PLEA DEAL" OR WOULD OTHERWISE LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT HOW THIS CASE HAS BEEN HANDLED, CONTACT:

Marshall Wilde - marshall.wilde@co.tom-green.tx.us
District Attorney
Tom Green County District Attorney's Office

IF YOU DISAGREE WITH THE PLEA DEAL AND WANT TO LET THE JUDGE KNOW ABOUT IT (OR LET HIM KNOW YOU WERE NEVER CONSULTED ABOUT ANY PLEA), CONTACT HIM DIRECTLY AT:

51st District Judge Walther
112 West Beauregard
San Angelo, Texas 76903

Note: There are four District Court Judges and any one of them may hear the case. The Victim/Witness Coordinator suggested sending letters to the judge above. They will reach their correct destination. I recommend sending copies of your letters to Molly J. Thurman, the Victim/Witness Coordinator. Her contact info. is below.

IF YOU HAVEN'T YET CONTACTED THE VICTIM/WITNESS OFFICE TO CLAIM YOUR PORTION OF THE "RESTITUTION" AND RETURN OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT:

Molly J. Thurman - molly.thurman@co.tom-green.tx.us
Victim/Witness Coordinator
51st & 119th District Attorney
124 West Beauregard Street
San Angelo, Texas 76903
Phone: 325-653-1912

TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE FEDS REJECTING THIS CASE:

US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas
Lubbock Branch Office at 1205 Texas Avenue, Suite 700
George M. Mahon Federal Building
Lubbock, Texas 79401-4002
Phone: 806-472-7351
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txn/sanangelo.htm">http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txn/sanangelo.htm">http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txn/sanangelo.htm

AND, FINALLY, HERE ARE SOME LETTERS WE RECEIVED FROM VICTIMS AFTER LAST WEEK'S ANNOUNCEMENT:

From: Patricia T.
Sun, 9 Oct 2005

Hey Angela

I was not contacted about any kind of deal with Janet
Kay. We have been cheated.

Patricia

---

From: Norma C.
Mon, 3 Oct 2005

Thank you, Angela. I also told the attorneys office of
my disappointment in their not going to jail and the
small fine. I don't know about the rest of the victims
but I was never informed of a court date. What they
did was a horrid game with people that they knew were
vulnerable and besides that, he used God!!! He told me
he was a, and I quote this, "Born again, praise God,
halleluiah, Christian Jew." I kid you not. He said the
reason he was not a member of the writers guild was
because of his stand against gay people. And, yes, I
was dumb enough to believe that! Now, I could have
cared less about that or his being a Christian Jew, its
just that he thought it would win me over. He said he
was completely paralyzed at one point due to, I forgot
what, and later Janet said he had a heart attack so she
had taken over the business for awhile. These people
are habitual liars!! Well, what goes around comes
around. They will lose everything some day; I have no
doubt about that at all. You are appreciated so much!

Hugs,
Norma

---

From: Rita M.
Tue Oct 11, 2005

I saw the DA's note on how busy they are with numerous
cases to deal with, and to be patient and wait to hear
from them, unless anything has happened or changed with
victim circumstances.

I am a victim of Janet Kay and Associates.

In my restitution letter, they were going to subpoena
me - but unfortunately I am on the other side of the
world. Had I been living in or near Texas, or USA, I
would have made my way to attend all hearings. My
writing career was ruined by her and her lovely
husband. I originally started full of strength and
determination to get my book published - and even if it
was not of a publishable standard, honesty would have
helped me, even if it did hurt! I was filled with
strength and determination to continue on and succeed.

After the Janet Kay and Associates experience, I
haven't got it anymore! Plus, I don't believe anyone!
I'm soooo burnt out I feel dead.

Spiritually, I went to her firm because of
Christianity. I admit, I followed what I believed was
God, only to be confronted by Satan himself, and the
pain he has caused me.

As an unpublished writer, I feel I have been severely
mocked by Janet Kay and Associates. They killed me and
my manuscript.

My dealings went on for a year . . . I even sent her
presents!

Rita

TO READ MORE ABOUT JANET KAY & ASSOCIATES, AND MORE COMPLAINTS FROM VICTIMS, see:

http://www.writersweekly.com/whispers_a ... etkay.html
http://www.writersweekly.com/warnings/helping.html
http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=1593
http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=1301
http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=1486
http://www.sfwa.org/beware/general.html
http://www.suite101.com/mydiscussion.cf ... ker/7831#4
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthr ... associates

This alert may be reprinted/redistributed freely. - Angela Hoy, WritersWeekly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 15th, 2005, 9:58 am 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1860
The plea bargain did not occur this month as expected.

Just got this note from one of Janet Kay & Associates' victims:

Angela, I've just checked the Tom Green County District Attorney's website - judicial records- and a new "Guilty Plea" date has been set for Janet Kay and Associates for the 27th of December 2005.

I haven't heard anything from the D.A.'s office. I'll let you know if I do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 30th, 2005, 2:03 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1860
UPDATE: The following email was received by one of Janet Kay & Associates' victims. It was sent by Molly J. Thurman, the Victim/Witness Coordinator on 12/29/05:

From: "Molly Thurman" molly.thurman - at co.tom-green.tx.us
Subject: RE: Rita Mery- Australia- Re: Janet Kay and Associates
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 07:53:45 -0600

The Titsworths still did not have the up front money so the guilty plea did
not go again. A future date has not been set yet. Thanks for your inquiry
sorry I do not have better news.

Molly J. Thurman
Victim/Witness Coordinator

~~~~~

What WritersWeekly.com wants to know is, if they don't have the money they promised to pay, why are they still walking the streets and why is their plea bargain being reset for a second time? If they can't ante up their end of the "bargain", they should either go to trial or plead guilty and pay the price with time behind bars, thinking about all the pain and heartache they put their victims through!!!


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 Post subject: Reader Comment
PostPosted: January 12th, 2006, 9:31 am 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1860
Reader comment rec'd by email:

Angela,

We might as well face it. We've been scammed not only by Janet Kay, but
also by the court system. Poor babies can't pay for their crimes so the
courts are going to give them a little pat on the hands and a bottle to
suck on. We've been had!

Patricia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 13th, 2006, 5:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1860
Thanks to Don Peoples for sending in this search info!

TO CHECK ON THE STATUS OF THE CASES AGAINST THE TITSWORTHS (yes, it appears there are more than one!),

CRIMINAL CASE
Go here: http://justice.co.tom-green.tx.us/

Click on Criminal Case Search

Type Titsworth into the top box on that page.

Voila!

CIVIL CASES

Go here: http://justice.co.tom-green.tx.us/

Click on Civil Case Search

Type Titsworth into the top box on that page.

The first one that pops up shows that Janet and her company are being sued by the City of San Angelo. We're not surprised.


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PostPosted: January 20th, 2006, 3:57 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1860
VICTIM RESPONDS TO INJUSTICE OF THE "JUSTICE SYSTEM"

Ang, you're an honest person. I too, like you, would think anyone with money would pay their way out of a court mess (not to mention pay taxes too). NOT THESE SERPENTS!

Check out where they live, is it a low socio economic area? I was told: "Do you know where she's from? (To which I didn't have a clue.) She's neighbors with our lovely president of the United States of America" -exact words. So Ang, I guess my question at this stage is, do you need to be wealthy to live next door to the President? Here in Australia you do! I wonder if they attended the same CHURCH too? (With all due respect to President Bush)

I'm sure they own their house/ranch. I'd hate to think they are renting!

Plus, do you remember Janet Kay and hubby buying themselves that huge motor home fully furnished with a big tv for Christmas 2003? It was on their website. Janet wrote about what a great time they were having and was offering 'Gold Passes' to her clients (victims) for motor home sites.

I honestly believe they are so wealthy that they cannot see past their noses. They couldn't even imagine what its like to be REALLY poor, with no money. And, we all know what real poverty is! The Titsworths IN JAIL! They'll never let it get to that. (Too
wealthy!!!!) The Titsworths will pay their way out of this court mess. This is all part
of their lies and deception to pay victims as little as possible in damages. Can't you see Ang, they don't care about victims. If they did they would not have committed the crimes they did in the first place and wouldn't be guilty of third degree felony!

Plus, they'll be back in business as soon as this is all clear.

The D.A. must understand this crime needs to be stopped. It's a crook's paradise! Plus, future victims need to be saved from this disgrace. HOW DARE THEY PUT VICTIMS THROUGH THIS? And, let me remind you Ang, I THANK GOD, I accidentally found your
website. But, unfortunate for me, a bit too late from becoming a victim of these
SERPENTS!

Rita


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PostPosted: January 25th, 2008, 7:43 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1860
Email rec'd at WritersWeekly on 1/24/08:

Hi Angela,
Yes the Titsworths did have to attend a show cause hearing as they have not
met any of their probation requirements. They made one payment in the
beginning that was from an insurance settlement that George Titsworth
received from a claim. I was told a motion to revoke was going to be
issued on them and then we will have more hearing to see if their
conditions will be amended, if they will be adjudicated from the deferred
sentence and put on regular probation or if they will be sent to the pen.
There is a wide variety of things that could happen so we will have to
wait and watch to see how the motion to revoke is handled by the attorneys
and the judge.

Molly Thurman
PVAC, Victim Services


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 15th, 2010, 5:32 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1860
WE'VE RECEIVED AN UPDATE ON THIS CASE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF VICTIM SERVICES. WE HAVE EMAILED BACK, ASKING IF THE TITSWORTHS ARE STILL REQUIRED TO PAY THE RESTITUTION THAT WAS ORIGINALLY ORDERED BY THE COURT. LOOKS LIKE THEY GOT OFF WITH A SLAP ON THE WRIST EVEN AFTER FAILING TO FULFILL THE COURT'S ORIGINAL ORDERS.

BELOW IS WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE MOTION TO REVOKE HEARING FOR BOTH PARTIES.


George Harrison Titsworth A-04-0548-S

Judge Weatherby, in lieu of a revocation, on November 18, 2008, the Defendant's supervision fees will be waived (which were $60 a month) and the Petty Theft Class will be waived due to the following violations:

Failed to make payments, failed to submit inability to pay statements, failed to report, failed to pay for urinalysis test and failed to attend and successfully complete the Petty Theft Prevention Program.

Condition (x) was deleted. The defendant has read, understood, and agrees to these conditions and changes of his community supervision.

Condition (x) was: Defendant shall attend and successfully complete within 180 days an educational program approved by the Concho Valley CSCD designed to educate persons on financial responsibility, namely the Petty Theft Prevention program. The Defendant shall provide written proof of completion and will be responsible for all costs of the program. (This was deleted)


Janet Kay Titsworth A-04-0549-S

Judge Weatherby, in lieu of revocation, on November 18, 2008, the Defendant's supervision fees will be waived (also $60 month), CSR deadline will be extended, and she is to complete the next available Petty Theft class due to the following violations: failed to make payments, failed to submit inability to pay statements, used Tramadol that was not prescribed, failed to report, failed to allow Community Supervision Officer to conduct a field visit, failed to do CSR hours, failed to pay for Urinalysis test, failed to participate in Thinking for a Change program, and failed to attend and successfully complete the Petty Theft Prevention program.

Conditions (m) and (x) were amended. The defendant has read, understood, and agrees to these conditions and changes of her Community Supervision.

It is, therefore, ORDERED that the following Terms of Community supervision are amended:

(m) Defendant shall serve 20 days in the Tom Green County Jail, beginning January 10, 2010. As an alternative to the term in the County Jail, the Defendant shall complete 160 hours of Community Service work with an agency approved by the court at a minimum of ten (10) hours per month to be completed by January 10, 2010. Participation in this program shall require the Defendant to work faithfully at a community task assigned. This work is to be completed at any of the agencies approved by the court and assigned by the community service restitution coordinator. For every eight (8) hours of community service completed prior to the date the time in jail is to begin, the defendant shall receive one day of credit for the time served in jail. Defendants who are assigned to the Graffiti Response Team and whose last names begin with A-L shall complete their Community Service hours between the first and the fifteenth days of the month. Defendants who are assigned to the Graffiti Response Team and whose names begin with M-Z shall complete their community service hours between the sixteenth and the last days of the month.

(x) Defendant shall attend and successfully complete no later than May 10 2009, an educational program approved by the Concho Valley CSCD designed to educate persons on financial responsibility, namely the Petty Theft Prevention program. The defendant shall provide written proof of completion and will be responsible for all costs of the program.

~~~~~

Per Molly Thurman, PVAC, Director of Victim Services:

"Okay, now on Janet, we are passed the days above the 1/10/10 date and I don't see she went to jail so I suppose she did what she was suppose to. However, normally Community Supervision does not revoke a defendant for non payment of the restitution. This is the last information entered into the court system."


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