Beautifully engraved certificate from the Stan Lee Media, Inc.
, This historic document was printed by the Security Columbian Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of Stan Lee and the company log with Stan Lee's printed signature. This item also has the printed signatures of the Company’s President and Secretary.
Peter F. Paul and Stan Lee who created Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men founded Stan Lee Media, Inc in 1996. With the creative force of Lee providing guidance, Stan Lee Media quickly earned widespread praise for its innovation in online animation. The company developed a loyal audience for its new characters and attracted high-profile clients like the Backstreet Boys for its animation services. In February 2000, Stan Lee Media's market capitalization was well over $300 million, about $100 million more than Marvel Enterprises, where Stan Lee still served as chairman emeritus.
Stan Lee Media, Inc. Stan Lee Media, Inc. was a digital entertainment studio that used the Internet to launch branded content, build global communities around it, and to commercialize it globally through traditional media. New superhero character franchises and animated series are created under the direction of pop-culture icon Stan Lee, co-creator of such classic characters as Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men. These franchises, as well as other co-branded and acquired properties, including Conan the Barbarian and Gene Roddenberry's Starship, were exploited through strategic partnerships with Fox Kids Latin America and Venture Soft of Japan, and licensing for a broad array of uses including television, motion pictures, music, events, and theme park attractions. The Company was establishing its website as a leading destination site on the World Wide Web for animation, interactive games, community, commerce and other "sticky content." Stan Lee Media had partnered with international singing sensation, the Backstreet Boys, to produce an animated, superhero version of the group for its www.backstreetproject.com website. The accompanying Backstreet Project/Burger King promotion is among the largest to support an Internet entertainment franchise. Stan Lee Media is currently producing three other animated web series, "The Accuser," "The Drifter" and the "7th Portal," which was co-developed for a major live-action motion picture with Men in Black's Mark Canton and a 3D ride attraction for Paramount Parks' five theme parks.
In January 2001, the company declared bankruptcy and dismissed Paul after an internal investigation.
On August 3, 2001, Peter F. Paul, a co-founder of Stan Lee Media, Inc., was arrested in the Sao Paolo, Brazil airport and is being detained by Brazilian authorities pending extradition proceedings to the United States. Paul was arrested pursuant to charges brought by federal authorities in Los Angeles and New York.
A federal criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles was unsealed on July 26. The complaint charges Paul and Stephen M. Gordon, a former senior executive of Stan Lee Media, each with one count of bank fraud and one count of mail fraud. Paul, 52, is a resident of Calabasas who has been sought by federal authorities since he was charged in New York in June 2001 with securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Gordon, 50, of Sherman Oaks, California was also charged in New York with the same offenses.
In relation to the case filed in Los Angeles, Gordon made his first court appearance on July 26, at which time a United States Magistrate Judge set bond at $300,000. A preliminary hearing in this case is scheduled for August 15, and an arraignment is scheduled for August 20.
As alleged in the Los Angeles complaint, Paul and Gordon engaged in a scheme to defraud Stan Lee Media and a branch of US Bank out of approximately $1.3 million.
Stan Lee Media was an Internet company co-founded by comic book icon Stan Lee and Paul. Stock in Stan Lee Media was traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange until it was delisted in May of 2001. Paul was the company’s CEO until June 2000, but he continued to make executive decisions after another CEO was brought in. Gordon was executive vice president for operations and acted as the company’s chief operating officer with control over the company's bank accounts.
During early 2000, Stan Lee Media’s stock was being traded at more than $20 per share. In late November and December of 2000, the share price of SLM's stock plunged, and SLM subsequently fired most of its staff and filed for bankruptcy protection.
According to the complaint, in early November 2000, Gordon, acting as the chief operating officer of Stan Lee Media, deposited a series of insufficient funds checks into two Stan Lee Media business checking accounts at a US Bank branch in Encino, California. The bad checks were written on bank accounts controlled by Paul and Gordon. Because of Stan Lee Media’s good credit standing, US Bank immediately issued cashier's checks payable to the other businesses controlled by Paul and Gordon. As a result of this scheme, Gordon, with Paul’s assistance, caused US Bank and/or Stan Lee Media to suffer losses of more than $1 million.
Bank fraud carries a maximum possible penalty of 30 years in federal prison, while mail fraud carries a potential penalty of five years in prison.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In addition to the charges filed in Los Angeles, Paul, Gordon and others face charges in the Eastern District of New York arising out of an alleged scheme to manipulate the price of Stan Lee Media stock.
Stan Lee was born Stanley Lieber. He was the teenage cousin of the wife of Martin Goodman, owner of Marvel Comics, which was called Timely Comics at the time. He started working for the company when he was just 16 years old, about a year after the debut of Superman No. 1. Before he was 21, Lee became Timely's editor and chief writer. He joined the Army during world War II, and wrote training manuals. He was one of less than ten Army servicemen to be given the military classification "playwright." During his first 25 years at Marvel, he wrote at least two comic books per week. He was the creator of Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men. A&E recently did a biography on his life. Stan Lee and a long time friend, Peter F. Paul, started Stan Lee Media as an online animation company, which in February of 2000, had a market capitalization of over $300 million.
The Hillary Clinton Connection
Several online news sites and newspapers, including the New York Post, featured articles regarding the Stan Lee Media Co-Founder Peter Paul suing the Clintons Over Campaign Funds. Peter Paul, who was recently indicted on stock manipulation charges, said that Hillary Clinton did not report donations of approximately $2 million he made to her 2000 Senate bid, but never reported the monies to the Federal Elections Committee because he is a convicted felon. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, named N.Y. Sen. Clinton, former president Bill Clinton and others as defendants. By exposing the political couple's alleged failure to report the donations, Paul tried to avoid possible prosecution for federal campaign-finance violations. According to the Post, the campaign for Mrs. Clinton returned $2,000 of the approximately $2,000,000 in contributions, which were substantiated by Peter Paul's canceled checks.