The FBI has finally closed the case of Jayme Gordon, an artist from Massachusetts, Boston, who is now behind bars for trying to defraud DreamWorks Animation, the creators behind the Kung Fu Panda movies. Gordon filed a civil suit against the DreamWorks team in 2011, stating that the animation company stole his drawing ideas to make the characters of the panda film. The 51-year-old artist sought more than $12 million in damages.
However, FBI investigations revealed that Gordon produced his drawings that initially appeared to validate his claims, but later the officials found that those drawings have been falsified and backdated as part of his elaborate ruse.
Special Agent Scott McGaunn, who investigated the case from the FBI’s Boston Division, stated that Gordon lied under oath.
According to the FBI investigators, months before the release of Kung Fu Panda movie, Gordon watched the movie trailer. The cartoonist had previously made drawings and a story about pandas—which he called “Panda Power.” His artwork, according to the FBI officials, bore little resemblance to the characters in the animated movie. Gordon, after watching the trailer, revised and renamed his “Panda Power” drawings, calling them, “Kung Fu Panda Power.”
According to Fox 8 Live, investigations also revealed that Gordon had traced some of his panda drawings from Disney’s The Lion King coloring book. The panda sketches, which Gordon claimed to have drawn in 1992 and 1993, were copied from the coloring book, which was not published until 1996.
During the course of the litigation, Gordon was also found to have deleted relevant evidence on his computer, which he was required to produce in discovery and lied during his civil deposition, according to DOJ.
Investigations revealed that Gordon fabricated and backdated sketches that served as support for his suit.
Gordon used these to file a copyright infringement suit against DreamWorks, claiming over $12 million. During the course of civil litigation, he perjured himself and provided falsified documents. Gordon was trying to misuse the legal system to try and extort over $12 million from DreamWorks, the FBI investigator said.
At trial, however, the cartoonist testified that he had not traced his drawings from the coloring book. Instead, he claimed, Disney, like DreamWorks, had copied his drawings. He also added that both companies had copied the characters he created and used in movie like The Incredibles, A Bug’s Life, MegaMind and Flushed Away.
[Featured Image by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP Images]