Update: I was emailed that Ms. Studts has begun a new venture called Magickal Media, a web design corporation. While there appears to be no corporate filing under such name in Arizona, GoDaddy’s whois information shows a company out of Scottsdale Arizona (same county as Suprise) as the registrant (DomainsbyProxy.com).
One thing that occurs to me is that if there was mingling of funds between the personal accounts of the Studts and the corporation, it might be that the corporation is an alter ego and thus the Studts might be personally responsible for those debts.
The Arizona Republic reported on the Triskelion bankrupcty on August 17, 2007. While most of the article is a rehash of things that we have already covered here at Dear Author, there are a few details that might be of some interest. Kristi Studts, the owner, lauched Triskelion Enterprises in 2004. She lives in Surprise, Arizona. At one time Triskelion had "a stable of nearly 100 international authors." The Trisk Bankruptcy Trustee notes that the financial decline began when Triskelion attempted to make the move from ebook publisher to print publisher with authors’ royalty payments bouncing or failing to arrive in April. (The reporter calls these ‘paychecks’ but because the author/publisher relationship isn’t a employee/employer relationship, I think the paycheck term is inaccurate).
I looked up the bankruptcy documents via PACER. (Anyone can apply and the cost is $0.08 per page.). Interestingly, the debtor listed is not Kristi Studts, but Ronald Studts who is/was president of Triskelion. The petition was filed on July 9, 2007 and assigned case no. 07-03208.
Only about 5 authors have filed a notice of claim, albeit inaccurately.
The schedule of Assets and Liabilities was filed on July 20, 2007. The assets include accounts receivables in the amount of $47,717.68 with $30,000.00 of that being money ostensibly owed by Borders. I’m not sure whether this is anticipated profits or whether this is credit that is charged on the Borders account against returns.
The liabilities include $80,306.73 in bank debt (line of credit or credit card). Only seven (7) authors were identified as being owed a specific sum of money (probably bounced royalty payments or unpaid royalty payments) for a total of $844.46. This was far less than what I thought it would be. Ronald Studts claims that he is owed $18,000.00 for a loan paid to the corporation. Another large creditor is Edward Brothers who is owed $18,634.00. Edward Brothers is likely the company that was printing Triskelion’s books. The total amount of liabilities is $133,395.79.
Other points of interest:
- Kristi Studts withdrew a total of $48,577.05 from 7/3/2006 to 5/29/2007.
- The gross income Triskelion made while in business was $55,125.00 in 2005, $310,323.74 in 2006, and $20,457.00 in 2007.
- An auctioneer has been hired to "appraise, assemble, and store the property of the estate for safekeeping and to conduct a liquidation of such property" which suggests that they plan to sell, at the least, the inventory of books
- Sept. 4, when a meeting of Triskelion’s creditors will take place.
I’m not going to reiterate that it is important to know your rights (okay, I am reiterating it but author pleas for the judge to “do the right thing” don’t actually work unless the “right thing” is actually supportable by the law), but you can read our Dear Author bankruptcy primer here.
Clearly, I am in the wrong business. I should be an epublisher. Triskelion made $300k+ with poor editing and an even worse website. Imagine what a decent web designer and someone with an English degree could do.