The estate of comic book legend Stan Lee announced Wednesday it has severed all ties with Camsing International, parent company of Lee’s POW! Entertainment, following the arrest of Hong Kong firm’s chief executive amid fraud allegations.
Camsing, which purchased POW! in 2017, confirmed in financial filings last month that founder/CEO Vivian Lo had been arrested by police in Shanghai, China. The company did not disclose the reasons for the arrest, but media reports out of China have suggested the company was being investigated for various financial misdeeds.
Lee’s estate contends in a statement released Wednesday that Lo and other Camsing executives allegedly defrauded various investors and institutions “using faked contracts and forged documents valued in excess of $1 billion.”
The estate also said it was conducting further investigation into POW! Entertainment President Gill Champion’s role in the original purchase of the company by Camsing, denying that Champion has “any claim whatsoever in carrying on with the legacy of Stan Lee.”
In May of last year, Lee filed a $1 billion lawsuit against POW!, accusing Champion and others of orchestrating the Camsing acquisition, even suggesting that Lee’s signature was forged on some of the documents and that the deal was made without Lee’s consent. The suit also accused the company of hijacking Lee’s “identity, name, image and likeness” and taking over his personal social media accounts.
The lawsuit was later settled, but Lee’s daughter, Joan Celia Lee, or J.C., said Wednesday the latest revelations involving Camsing has renewed her concerns.
“The recent criminal allegations against Camsing and its jailed chairwoman Vivian Lo regarding their participation in a massive fraud makes it all the more likely that there was indeed merit to my father’s allegations,” J.C. Lee said. “I cannot tolerate, nor would he have ever tolerated, his name, likeness and rights of publicity be associated with such criminality — criminality that apparently was ongoing at the time Stan allegedly entered into a deal with Camsing and POW!.
“It is the estate’s position that neither POW! nor Camsing have any rights to Stan Lee’s name, likeness or legacy.”
Lee — who built Marvel into a comics powerhouse by co-creating characters such as Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, the X-Men and Iron Man — died in November at age 95.