CHICAGO — A federal judge has given gay porn production company Flava Works until mid May to answer allegations that it committed an "egregious fraud" on the court to win its copyright case.
The case has its roots in a September 2011 copyright infringement suit against Lee Momient Jr., who is claiming forgery of a signature in a "work made for hire" deal after making counterclaims.
Flava Works CEO Phillip Bleicher told XBIZ that Momient's allegations of forgery are fruitless.
"We will prove that Lee Momient gave us the document that we submitted to the court," Bleicher said. "Judge Shader has given us 21 days to answer these allegations."
Flava Works in its 2011 suit against Momient charged that the Momient used Flava Works-owned images on his competing websites — HouseIntheHood.com and HypnoThugs.com.
Both of the sites have been offline for some time now, with both starting up in 2007 and winding down in 2009 and 2010, according to an Internet archive search.
Flava Works, which operates FlavaMen.com, ThugBoy.com and CocoDorm.com, among other websites, also distributes DVDs of its content, as well as other forms of media.
Last month, in answer to a counterclaim, Flava Works produced for the first time a contract in which Momient agreed to "work made for hire" terms.
Momient declared that the contract was a forgery and claimed that the signature on the purported work contract was actually a signature from a different document.
Shadur, the federal judge hearing the case, agreed that Momient's accusations need to be furthered after calling evidence at hand an "egregious fraud" on the court.
"This court anticipates the dismissal of Flava's [third amended complaint] and its action against Momient with prejudice," Shadur said at oral argument. "But although it is difficult to conceive any predicate for Flava's refutation of the skillfully-put-together presentation that demonstrates its fraud, this court will give Flava the opportunity to do so."
Bleicher said that Momient's accusations are schematic in nature and that a hand-writing expert might be employed in the case.
"It's no coincidence that two days after the hearing Lee Momient files his 16-page affidavit that details how the signature could of been forged, something only the forger or an licensed hand writing expert would be able to show," Bleicher said.