Time to Speak out about Unpaid Brewer Debts

After our letters in the Church papers and The Bookseller last week, we have had some attention in the church and trade press for the tricks and fiddles which have been perpetrated on suppliers by organisations run by J Mark and Philip W Brewer.

In the past suppliers have nearly all kept quiet about how their invoices have just been left hanging for months, or how shops have continued selling the same stock under a new operating company, while the suppliers of the stock have been told to take their invoices away “to the old operator”.

J Mark Brewer’s sworn declaration to the Texas Court revealed £1m+ of unpaid debt from the period summer 2007 to summer 2008.

And yet in 2008 and 2009 a new generation of suppliers were being signed up, fiddled, and left high and dry by a new set of operating companies, with three, four or five figure invoices unpaid, even while the Charity Commission were investigating the previous generation of fiddles.

These are suppliers who are dealing with what they are being told is a “Christian Business”, and/or are part of the ecosystem around the Christian Bookshop trade. We are now focusing on this aspect of this saga.

We are calling on suppliers to write in to the Church Papers or the Bookseller between now and Christmas to outline what has happened, and how you have been treated.

We will be running some accounts and examples here as they come in too, and (we hope) have an interview or two and pass stories on to the media.

We do not think there will be another chance to do this.

Here’s the drill:

  • Keep it short, sharp, snappy and factual. 100-200 words is enough.
  • Make sure that your account is one you are willing to stand behind.
  • We think that most of the Church papers have pulled or edited articles in response to Brewer threats in the past, so if you have controversial things to say, send it to The Bookseller.
  • Cover who you are, what happened, what you are owed, and which business you were dealing with.
  • If you really don’t want to go public, ask them not to reveal your name.
  • Send it to us anyway via this form, and we’ll publish it here too. Please mke clear if you want us to withhold your name, or if your account is not for publication (e.g., if it is evidence of criminal activity).

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6 responses to “Time to Speak out about Unpaid Brewer Debts

  1. Pingback: Twitted by notbovvered

  2. Valiant for Truth

    Reading the current issue of “The Bookseller” today about the Borders closure, the differences between the general and the Christian book trade became evident. Quote re Retention of Title claims by publishers to the Administrators – “Peter Roche, deputy chief executive of Hachette and chair of the committee set up by the Publishers Association to deal with Borders, said the administrator was being ‘extremely obstructive’ on the matter. Roche said: ‘They refuse to do or accept anything…[as a result] we are in the process of taking legal action.'” I don’t recall any such joint activity from Christian suppliers at any time in the SSG saga. This is partly beacause, as our letter writers said, the Christian trade is so diverse. All the more reason for people to really keep this matter alive, talk to the media, contact the Interim Managers, work together, so that not only do the Brewers get away with their sins and illegalities, but also the Christian trade is strengthened to serve its mission.

  3. Back in April I posted a brief round up of cases successfully pursued thus far — persistence pays off: Pursuing the Brewers: Contact Info, Facts and Resources.

    Once again, I urge anyone who has been shortchanged by these guys: don’t let them get away with it.

  4. Valiant for Truth

    Into the new year and it would be interesting to know whether any of the shops put up for sale by the Interim Managers, have been sold, and whether their have been lots of applications from creditors. Or, are we still in the land of silence and secrecy?

  5. Silence and Secrecy.

  6. I’m totally confused. Peter Gotham has taken over ten freeholds. I know that Bristol is one of the ten but it was sold ages ago. The freeholds gifted to SSG have been put up for sale. The others haven’t. This is a dog’s breakfast.

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