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WWE: Former WWE Vice President Pleads Guilty To Fraud

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posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 02:55 PM
James Bell, the former Vice President of Licensing and Marketing for World Wrestling Entertainment, plead guilty to mail fraud charges today in U.S. District Court. Bell had been accused of arranging that WWE's licensing agent, SS & Associates Inc., would receive commissions on licensing agreements to which they were not entitled. SS & Associates would then give kickbacks to Bell in return via a foreign bank account.

The situation involving Bell led to World Wrestling Entertaining filing a lawsuit in October 2004 against toy licensee Jakks Pacific, claiming that the toy company made payoffs in order to attain the licensing rights to WWE toys and video games. That lawsuit is still pending, although Jakks has publicly denied any wrongdoing.

Newsday reported that federal sentencing guidelines, which are advisory, call for Bell to receive 30 to 37 months in prison. Bell did not comment after pleading guilty in court. SS & Associates declined to comment to Newsday when contacted.

Bell was featured in the Barry Blaustein documentary on professional wrestling, "Beyond the Mat" discussing an analogy between WWE superstars and The Muppets.

Wrestling Exposed

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