Report: #304253

Complaint Review: JoJo Marengo - Umbrella Publishing - Fullerton California

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  • JoJo Marengo - Umbrella Publishing 2545 E. Chapman Avenue, Suite 200 Fullerton, California U.S.A.

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After publisher JoJo Marengo of Umbrella Publishing violated his contract with me, swindling me out of money and also appropriating some of my intellectual property without crediting me for it, I could in touch with writers advocate Angela Hoy of WritersWeekly, BookLocker and Whispers & Warnings.

Ms. Hoy asked Mr. Marengo for his side of the story. He lied to her. He told her that my contractual e-mail agreement called for him to pay me for "several" articles over the course of a year.

I was able to send Ms. Hoy Mr. Marengo's original e-mail to me in which he stated he would be using and paying for four articles from me in the November/December 2007 issue of his magazine Orange County's Best.

Not only that, but the one article of mine that Mr. Marengo published, he published without a by-line. When I first pointed that out to him, he sent me an e-mail that simply said "terribly sorry."

Now that I have raised the issue with Ms. Hoy, however, Mr. Marengo is saying "There was never an agreement to use his by-line."

This unethical publisher actually believes that he does not have to give writers credit for their work when he publishes it. He contracts writers for articles according to normal conditions, which is to say, not with work for hire agreements, and then he behaves as though he had a work for hire agreement with the writers.

A publisher must try hard to be less ethical than that. The term "snake in the grass" does not even begin to describe what writers are dealing with when the deal with JoJo Marengo and Umbrella Publishing.

New York, New York

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/29/2008 05:25 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/jojo-marengo-umbrella-publishing/fullerton-california-92831/jojo-marengo-umbrella-publishing-publisher-exacerbates-swindle-by-lying-in-the-face-of-d-304253. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#2 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Scott rose - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Sunday, April 06, 2008

Instead of taking steps to show good faith towards me and the freelance community, Publisher JoJo Marengo of Orange County's Best, and a selection of other magazines, represented to my writer's advocate Ms. Angela Hoy that he had retained a lawyer in this matter.

That lawyer made jejune attempts to bully Ms. Hoy into silence.

When Ms. Hoy gave him her documentable and straightforward opinion supporting my position in the dispute, neither the lawyer nor Mr. Marengo made any response.

Ms. Hoy had told the lawyer of stories Mr. Marengo had invented to avoid his contractual responsibility towards me, and of his failure to produce any documentation in support of those invented stories aka lies.

Furthermore, I myself contacted JoJo Marengo's supposed lawyer. I explained that one of the reasons I take time to pursue these matters with Ms. Hoy is that I want for all freelancers to be dealing with a more honest and straightforward pool of employers than would exist if nobody ever called the deadbeats out on their violations of contracts and trust.

I told the lawyer that I had seen on his firm's website that they "see business matters from their client's point of view." I asked whether that meant they would support Mr. Marengo in his attempts to be dishonest and unfair with me, or if, in reviewing the matter he determined that Mr. Marengo really did owe me $750, he would recommend that Mr. Marengo pay me that money.

That message received no response.

The take-away for freelancers is that JoJo Marengo of Umbrella Publishing not only will violate contracts, but that he will then use a connection who happens to be a lawyer to try to intimidate them out of complaining about his dishonesty.

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#1 Author of original report

JoJo Marengo of Umbrella Publishing Further Exacerbates Offences

AUTHOR: Scott rose - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Friday, February 08, 2008

I have now reported JoJo Marengo/Umbrella Publishing to writers' advocate Angela Hoy of Writers' Weekly, as per previous posts on this site.

I have supplied Ms. Hoy with full documentation of the correspondence and agreements/contracts reached between me and Mr. Marengo.

Nonetheless, in representing events to Ms. Hoy, Mr. Marengo continues to be blatantly deceptive.

For example, at issue in the contractual dispute is whether he said he was buying for publication in his November, 2007 issue four of my articles, or one.

The e-mail record shows clearly that he contracted with me for four articles for his November issue. Yet he is representing that he did not. I will gladly supply any person requesting the documentation with same.

I do not have any expectations of anything particularly worthwhile coming of this for myself. However, after Mr. Marengo abandoned our agreement and for six weeks did not respond to my e-mails asking him what had become of it and my work, and I then saw that he was placing help-wanted ads for other freelance writers, I could not remain silent.

I am a forgiving person, and if Mr. Marengo would simply acknowledge what he has done wrong, apologize for it, and pledge not to repeat such offenses in the future, that would be fine with me. But he does no such thing. He continues to misrepresent the facts of the case, leaving me to believe that he would have no scruples about mistreating others as he has mistreated me. I am posting below a message I sent him, but to which he has not yet responded. Perhaps he will see fit to put a response to it here, so that the community of freelance writers, and others, can see that he has intentions of treating his future writers with more decency than he has treated me.

Mr. Marengo:

I want you to know that I am puzzled by the way you have treated me.

You praised my work to the skies, and told me you thought I could make positive contributions towards the success of your publication(s).

I wanted to help you succeed.

When I saw in mid-December that you had not carried out the agreement we had reached in September/October, I did not fly off the handle. I very cordially asked for an explanation of your plans with those of my articles you had said you would be publishing in November.

I believe that I was due the courtesy of a response from you. Over a six week period, I continued e-mailing you weekly, asking what had become of those of my articles you said you wanted to publish in your November issue but did not.

I exercised patience in awaiting a reply from you, because I know how very busy people can be around the end-of-year holiday period.

I am a decent, honest, hard-working freelance writer and human being. For what reason did you not give me the courtesy of a reply, when I was being so courteous to you though you had not carried out a professional business agreement you made with me?

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