A Massachusetts court on Wednesday sentenced a man for attempting to defraud a Hollywood studio of millions of dollars by falsely claiming to have created the characters from the 2008 movie “Kung Fu Panda.”
Jayme Gordon, 51, from Randolph south of Boston, was found guilty last November on four counts of wire fraud and three counts of perjury for the years-long elaborate scam against DreamWorks Animation.
A US federal judge on Wednesday sentenced him to two years in prison and three years’ supervised release, and ordered him to pay more than $3 million of restitution.
He was found to have reworked previous drawings and a story about Pandas to make them look more like “Kung Fu Panda” after watching a trailer for the Oscar-nominated movie months before its June 2008 release.
He renamed his work “Kung Fu Panda Power,” filed a copyright infringement suit against DreamWorks and subsequently demanded a $12 million settlement.
The studio refused and spent more than two years defending itself to a cost of $3 million, before discovering that Gordon had traced some of his drawings from a Disney “The Lion King” coloring book, prosecutors said.
Gordon had backdated his sketches to before the book was published in 1996.
During civil litigation, he deleted evidence on his computer and lied under oath, the US attorney’s office in Massachusetts said.
At trial, Gordon denied tracing the drawings, insisting that Disney, like DreamWorks, copied his drawings and based characters in the 1994 film “The Lion King” and other movies on his work.