A convicted extortionist Adam Anthony Zoccoli has threatened to ban the top-selling book Victoria Police Corruption.
The book was launched on 2 August 1999 and is widely touted as the definitive work on corruption in Victoria.
In December Adam Anthony Zoccoli (otherwise known as Mr. Fixit) sued the author Raymond Hoser and publishers Kotabi for defamation seeking unspecified damages (money). The matter is being defended.
This month, by phone and in a letter to Kotabi’s lawyers, Zoccoli has (through his lawyers) demanded money and an immediate cessation of sales of the book. The letter said that if the demand is not adhered to Zoccoli will seek an immediate ban on sales of the book by taking out an injunction through the Supreme Court.
Kotabi publishing have instructed their lawyers to tell Zoccoli to ‘go jump in the lake’.
Kotabi’s corporate lawyer, Alex Tees said ‘in my view Zoccoli has two chances of succeeding in his attempts to ban the book, Buckley’s and none’. He said ‘The legal authorities are against any such ban (e.g. Vacik vs Kotabi NSW 1996) and our client Raymond Hoser has probably fought off more injunctions to ban his books than any other author in Australia’. Tees noted that in this case Zoccoli has only made the demand to stop sales of the book at least four months after he was aware of its being sold. ‘Courts are loathe to grant injunctions at such a late stage of proceedings’ Tees said.
Author Raymond Hoser was even more blunt. He said ‘In my view, Zoccoli’s actions are nothing more than an abuse of legal process and a form of legalized extortion. He will not succeed.’
According to Hoser’s book, Zoccoli has an extensive criminal history, including acting as a go-between for bent Police and victims whom he’d set-up and then demand money to get them off charges.
According to Andrew Stephen of the OPP’s office, Zoccoli’s criminal history includes convictions for blackmail (AKA extortion) for which he got 16 months jail, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice for which he got 12 months jail, conspiracy to defraud (9 months jail), criminal damage (12 months) and perjury (24 months).
Hoser said ‘while under normal circumstances I wouldn’t necessarily treat his "criminal record" as definitive, the fact is that it is on the public record that Zoccoli has confessed to criminal actions’.
Lawyer Dean Jones acted for Salvatore Marabito, who was a victim of a set-up organised by Zoccoli. Jones described Zoccoli as ‘a low-life’ and said he thought Zoccoli may be abusing the legal system in order to get a quick grab for cash.
Meanwhile Hoser’s lawyers have another problem besides defending the defamation matter itself. In 1990 Zoccoli was bankrupted to the tune of 2,191,000.00 owed to 11 creditors. Assuming that judgement is made against Zoccoli’s writ, the question then being asked is will the defendant’s lawyers be paid.
Kotabi publishing’s lawyers have backed author Raymond Hoser issuing a statement saying that ‘even at this stage of proceedings we have no evidence to suggest that Hoser has got a single thing wrong in his book. In fact we now have more evidence than ever to corroborate that what he wrote was correct. Police and government corruption are matters of deep public interest and we will do our best to ensure that the public’s right to know be served by continuing sales of the books.’
Meanwhile many bookshops report that they are having trouble keeping up with continuing high demand for the book. A reprint is being organized … injunctions withstanding.