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Author behind @GSElevator has lost his book deal

NEW YORK — John Lefevre, the man behind the @GSElevator Twitter account who purported to post dialogue overheard in the elevators of Goldman Sachs Group but never actually worked there, has lost his book deal.

He had gained a measure of Internet fame, parlaying that into a book deal — all while remaining anonymous.

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Now, the publisher, Touchstone, which said earlier that it stood by Lefevre when his identity was revealed, said Thursday that it would cancel the agreement to publish “Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance and Excess in the World of Investment Banking.”

“In light of information that has recently come to our attention since acquiring John Lefevre’s ‘Straight to Hell,’ Touchstone has decided to cancel its publication of this work,” the publisher said.

Although it once appeared that the person behind the Twitter account had a connection to Goldman, Lefevre does not work at the Wall Street bank and never did, The New York Times’s Andrew Ross Sorkin reported last month. Lefevre worked for Citigroup for seven years and in 2010 was offered a job as head of debt syndicate in Asia at Goldman’s Hong Kong office, but the offer was later revoked.

At the time, the publisher said it had not been misled.

“He’s been pretty straight with us the entire time, so this is not a surprise,” the book’s editor, Matthew Benjamin, said then.

Touchstone said that it planned to proceed with publication. Still, Lefevre did nothing to dispel the false impression that he was an employee of the firm. In 2011, around the time he started tweeting, he apparently told The Times via e-mail that he was a Goldman employee.

Business Insider reported earlier Thursday that his book deal was no more.

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