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Ex-Exec of Stan Lee Media Sentenced

August 05, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

A former executive of Stan Lee Media was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison Monday for taking part in a check-kiting scheme that preceded the Encino-based company's collapse in early 2001.

During a lengthy sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz in Los Angeles, former Executive Vice President Stephen M. Gordon, 52, of Sherman Oaks, insisted that he was duped by his superiors into signing his name on more than $5.6 million in bad checks that were deposited into company accounts at Merrill Lynch & Co. and U.S. Bancorp.

Gordon's attorney, Harland Braun, said he plans to appeal the conviction by a Los Angeles federal court jury.

Gordon's brother, Jonathan, 45, of Malibu, a former financial consultant at Merrill Lynch's Century City office, is scheduled to be sentenced in the case today. He was charged with aiding the scheme.

The company's co-founder, Peter F. Paul, 54, also was charged in the case. He is under arrest in Brazil, where he is fighting extradition to the United States.

Paul founded the company with Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man and other comic book heroes, to produce animated stories for the Internet. Lee has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

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