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Law

‘Kung Fu Panda’ Fraudster Sentenced To 2 Years In Prison, Must Repay Dreamworks $3 Million

Jayme Gordon, a man who claimed that Dreamworks stole Kung Fu Panda from him and wanted a $12 million settlement, was sentenced yesterday to two years in federal prison.

Jayme Gordon will serve two years in prison for attempting to defraud Dreamworks.
Jayme Gordon will serve two years in prison for attempting to defraud Dreamworks.

A Massachusetts judge also ordered Gordon to repay Dreamworks more than $3 million in restitution, the amount that Dreamworks had to spend defending itself from Gordon’s frivolous lawsuit. It’s a relatively light sentence compared to the maximum amount of prison time he could have received.

What separated Gordon’s case from the typical intellectual property lawsuit against a Hollywood studio is that Gordon didn’t just claim that Dreamworks stole his idea, but he also created new artwork after he saw the trailer for Kung Fu Panda in 2008 and backdated it to make it appear that he had created the artwork first. (Full disclosure: I worked on the case as the art expert for Dreamworks’ legal defense team.)

Gordon’s brazen scheme imploded after Dreamworks’ lawyers discovered that the artwork Gordon claimed was from 1992 was actually traced out of a Lion King coloring book from 1996. (Subsequently at his trial, Gordon claimed that he also created the storyline for Disney’s The Lion King.)

Gordon was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud and perjury in December 2015, and convicted of those charges by a jury in November 2016. At his most recent sentencing trial, Gordon, 51, continued to proclaim his innocence, while telling the court that he not only created the stories for Kung Fu Panda and The Lion King, but also Pixar’s A Bug’s Life.

While prosecutors sought a five-year sentence for Gordon, U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris ultimately reduced it two years, stating that she thought Gordon might suffer from autism or other undiagnosed mental health disorders. According to a report from the Boston Globe, she has ordered Gordon to be held at a prison hospital where he can receive psychiatric care and alcohol abuse treatment.

Dreamworks, for their part, gave a victim impact statement to the court on behalf of its artists who had worked on the film. “Across the board, they felt their talent was being attacked and time was wasted defending this claim,” Dreamworks representative Christopher Miller said during the sentencing trial.

  • Ouch.

  • John A

    He also wanted to take credit for “A Bug’s Life”? Is he hoping to avoid prison by pleading insanity?

    • WanderPony

      What’s next? Is he gonna claim he’s a time traveler who went back and time and claim he created the story for Snow White?

      • Mermaid Warrior

        Maybe he can go back even further and claim he invented cave paintings.

    • aarett

      did he also want to take credit for 3 amigos

    • I’m sure he was inspired by watching the 7 Samurai.

  • Matt

    Defraud Dreamworks?? easy, I’ll just trace out of this coloring book. it’s a fool-proof plan!

    • The fact he got two years in prison due to the judge’s considering his mental disability did made me quesiton whether he’s faking it or not. If it is something like Autism, it wouldn’t surpirse me he would take it this far.

    • mushed potato

      By tracing a DISNEY coloring book no less. It’s like an invitation to get double-teamed.

  • Anonymous

    2 years in prison? He’ll be doing better than most animators in town. He’ll get 2 years of free health care.

    • Honest_Miss

      It’s not free. You pay for everything they give you when you’re in prison, including rent.

      • Mario Bros

        Huh? Wait, so what happens if you don’t pay?

        • Strong Enough

          they kick you out. Duh

        • Jwalker

          You go to super prison.

        • Honest_Miss

          Your family is charged and/or hounded by debt collectors.

  • matt shepherd

    How does prison work in USA? In Canada they are run by federal money..ie. tax dollars…

    If this is how USA is run, which I assume it is to a degree. How does sentencing him to 2 years in prison make any sense. He did steal money, he didnt sell anything, he just lied alot…They should have left it at a fine, fine him 3 mill. Leave it at that.

    Makes no sense to send this dude to prison. waste of money

    • yo

      because in America we have laws where in our prisons inmates are basically the cheapest labor possible.

    • Josh Evans

      It’s a forced labor scheme. American products are built on near slavery (for profit prisons).

  • Troy

    Really? He claim to create A Bug’s Life also? Either he really needs help or thought to avoid a harsher sentence by setting up to look like a plead to insanity.

    • KW

      The guy’s obviously not right in the head. I hope he gets the mental treatment he needs.

  • ‘The muscles told me to do it!’ – Jayme’s plead right before he was sentenced the 2 years.

  • Inkan1969

    It takes all kinds to make a world…

  • Heinrich Skye

    How is this dude supposed to pay Dreamworks $3,000,000? Not that he doesn’t deserve the punishment, but that’s a chunk of change.

    • Randy

      If he could manage to prove he wrote Lion King or A Bugs Life, he could pay it with that money…

  • Strong Enough

    Jayme i told you it was a joke. you had to take it serious