Just hours after the veteran film financier and producer was hit today with a sprawling trademark infringement and unfair competition complaint by the current QED CEOS, the former QED CEO is hitting back. “I have all along been acting in the best interests of QED, our filmmakers, our production partners and the employees of the company I founded,” said Block today in a statement release through his lawyer Marty Singer over the legal action. “I’m confident that I will be completely vindicated in this litigation.”
In late February Block officially exited the company he founded back in 2002. He had sold its assets to Media Content Capital in in May 2012 for $25 million and a 25% stake in what became QED Holdings, the formal plaintiff in today’s filing. The Fury producer and PalmStar Media Capital CEO Kevin Frakes joined with Raj Singh’s Merced Capital L.P. to launch Merced Media in late 2014. Sources tell Deadline that a JAMS arbitration between Block and the current QED is in the process of being set – that was before today’s lawsuit was filed.
Read the full statement from Block’s lawyer Singer here:
The claims asserted against Bill Block by QED are ridiculous and have no merit, and we are confident that my client will prevail on QED’s specious claims.
Nothing was done by Bill Block without the knowledge of QED’s attorneys and principals.The fact is that since 2014 QED did not have the financial wherewithal to finance films and in July 2014, its principals directed Block to shut down the company, release all executives and extract the company from its office lease.
Bill Block went ahead and secured outside financing for, and packaged, Dirty Grandpa with QED’s knowledge and consent. The claims related to Birth of the Dragon are also false since Mr. Block does not have any money on that film and QED is aware of that fact.
In October of 2014, Josh Grode, attorney for both QED and Mr. Block, approved Mr. Block going to work at a new company (Merced Media) and was listed as Mr. Block’s lawyer in the press release for that transaction. This is contrary to the allegations in QED’s lawsuit.
At the same time that QED wanted to shut down its operations, it was reported in the media that a US Senator wrote to the Attorney General of the United States in requesting that the Department of Justice investigate Mikhail Lesin, the father of one of QED’s principals, for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Anti-Money Laundering statutes.
Then, it was reported in the media in December of 2014 that the US Assistant Attorney General had referred the request for investigation of the QED principal’s father to the FBI and to the Criminal Division of the US Justice Department.
Also, in December of 2014, the deal for Mr. Block’s separation from QED was finished and confirmed by all parties. The Russian principals of QED subsequently tried to renegotiate their deal with Mr. Block. When they could not do so on terms to their satisfaction, this absurd lawsuit resulted.
Bill Block stated: “I have all along been acting in the best interests of QED, our filmmakers, our production partners and the employees of the company I founded. I’m confident that I will be completely vindicated in this litigation.”