Former Vice President of Licensing and Marketing for World Wrestling Entertainment, James Bell, plead guilty to mail fraud charges yesterday in U.S. District Court. Bell was accused of arranging for WWE’s licensing agent, SS & Associates Inc., to receive commissions on licensing agreements in which they were not entitled to. SS & Associates then gave kickbacks to Bell via a foreign bank account in return.
This situation led to World Wrestling Entertaining filing a lawsuit last October 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 gone on record, denying any wrong doing.
Newsday is reporting that under federal sentencing guidelines, Bell could receive 30 to 37 months in prison. Bell had no comment after pleading guilty. SS & Associates also declined comment.
To read the Newsday article, click here.