The San Diego Union Tribune has an article about one of the scam artists that are attracted to any type of activity that promises them a profit:
"One former Martell employee estimates that about 40 to 50 would-be authors, who paid up to thousands of dollars each to get their work published, were left in the lurch when the company closed its doors.
“He (Johnson) never took any of these books seriously. To him it was just a source of income,” said Lynn Karstens, who said she worked at Martell from November 2006 through April as one of two employees.
“Every time he had a new author on the string, we were pulled off manuscripts from authors who had already prepaid and put onto the new book to bring in additional money,” Karstens said."