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Stan Lee Media Exec Settles SEC Lawsuit

Markets | WALL ST. ROUNDUP

July 22, 2005|From Bloomberg News

Peter Paul, who co-founded Stan Lee Media Inc. with Spider-Man creator Stan Lee, on Thursday settled a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit accusing him of manipulating the company's stock.

Paul, without admitting wrongdoing, agreed to refrain from future securities law violations and not to serve as an officer or director of a public company, the SEC said in a statement.

In March, Paul and Stephen Gordon, a former Stan Lee Media vice president, pleaded guilty to leading a scheme to manipulate the share price of the now-bankrupt company, including transactions in which Paul secretly borrowed money using the stock as collateral.

Paul and Gordon are awaiting sentencing in that case, which was brought by federal prosecutors in New York.

"I'm very happy to have settled the outstanding securities issues," Paul said in a telephone interview.

Before filing for bankruptcy in February 2001, Encino-based Stan Lee Media developed online programming with Lee, who created comic book heroes including Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk. Lee was never a suspect in the investigation, prosecutors said.

Paul and four others were charged in 2001 with manipulating Stan Lee shares through accounts set up to conceal their trading. Paul left the U.S. for Brazil after the SEC announced in 2001 it was investigating Stan Lee Media. Paul was ordered to return to the United States in July 2003 by the Supreme Court of Brazil.

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