According to court documents from the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, Wizard World Inc. has filed a lawsuit against former Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Shamus, who the suit claims “abused his position of trust to misappropriate substantial sums, believed to exceed $1 million, and caused other losses.” The suit goes on to claim: “For many years, defendant Shamus illicitly obtained autographs and other memorabilia from the celebrities retained by Wizard World and sold them for his own benefit and that of his confederates. Indeed, Shamus often negotiated money-losing deals for Wizard World in order to gain access to celebrities whom he could exploit for his own enrichment. Defendant Shamus thus diverted substantial funds and resources, all generated and paid for by Wizard World, to himself and his co-conspirators.”
The court filing also notes that Shamus was terminated by Wizard World on October 27, 2016, demanding the return of “all illicit autographs and memorabilia generated with its resources” and asking for a court injunction “to prevent Shamus’s further sale and distribution of plaintiff’s property.” The suit also names ten other defendants, listed as “John Does 1-10,” as “persons who aided and abetted defendant Shamus and shared in the illicit proceeds generated by his scheme.”
Bleeding Cool has obtained the court documents, including the “notice of termination” letter from Wizard World’s lawyers to Stephen Shamus’s lawyers, which you can view below. Wizard World had no comment about pending litigation when asked by Bleeding Cool. We have had no response from Stephen Shamus at time of publication.
More details on this breaking story to come.