Documents filed in the litigation between Wizard World and former Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Shamus reveal what appears to be a battle over control of the company, with major shareholders seeking to oust the board. The information appeared in a filing by Shamus earlier this month which disclosed persons whom Shamus said would likely have “discoverable information” relevant to the case.
Shamus named three “Major Shareholders,” Eric Weisblum, Robb Knie, and Vince Labarbara, as having “knowledge and information that Wizard World shareholders intended to replace the current Board of Directors, withdraw the instant lawsuit and issue a public apology to Shamus.” If accurate, that indicates serious dissension among the shareholders of Wizard World about the decision to fire and sue Shamus (see “Wizard World Files Suit Against Steve Shamus”).
Among other names on the list of potential discovery targets for Shamus were numerous potential sources of information on the “custom and practice at Wizard World of receiving and gifting fee autographs and photo ops and memorabilia,” which is at the heart of the company’s allegations that Shamus diverted autographs that were company property to his own benefit.
And legal maneuvering is taking on a more urgent tone as an order issued by the U.S. District Court last week gives Wizard World until early next month to show cause why the court should not attach $665,000 based on what Shamus argues is the anticipated outcome of his counterclaim (see “Shamus Countersues Wizard World”) and Wizard World’s out-of-state status.
Meanwhile, Shamus has organized a new agency to connect celebrities and cons (see “Former Wizard World CMO Forms Agency”), as Wizard World obtained additional financing to prevent an end-of-the-year cash crunch (see “Wizard World Secures Financing – At a Cost”).