An Italian man has admitted stealing more than 1,000 unpublished manuscripts, many written by high-profile authors.

Filippo Bernardini impersonated figures from the publishing industry to trick people into handing over their works. He used his inside industry knowledge, having been employed by the publishing giant Simon & Schuster in London.

Bernardini, 30, pleaded guilty in New York to wire fraud, but his motive has never been clear. Manuscripts were not found to have been leaked on the internet, nor were any ransom demands made.