A $2 million Hollywood bash that honored President Bill Clinton and raised buckets of money for Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign in 2000 was bankrolled by business mogul Peter Franklin Paul, and he says that was because Bill Clinton told him he’d work with Paul’s company once he left the White House.
Peter Paul and Sen. Hillary Clinton (Courtesy Hillcap.org)
But that plan failed when, Paul alleges, the former president’s agent diverted a key investment away from Paul’s company and it failed in the dot-com meltdown several years ago. Now his lawsuit against Clinton and others for allegedly conspiring to destroy his $200 million Internet business is moving forward, with a motion to file a second amended complaint.
A hearing on that motion, submitted to the court today, is scheduled Sept. 25, officials with the United States Justice Foundation told WorldNetDaily.
Paul alleges after he donated $1.9 million of cash and in-kind contributions for Mrs. Clinton’s Senate campaign, Bill Clinton’s agent used proprietary information obtained from Paul to convince Paul’s Japanese partner to incorporate Venture Soft USA with him, not invest another $5 million with Paul.
“Underlying this complaint is the damage that was done to my business and to me as a businessman, because I allowed Clinton access to a proprietary relationship that I had with my Japanese partner,” Paul told WND.
“Rather than being disgruntled contributor, I am an injured businessman whose entire interest was to employ an ex-president as a rainmaker for my company,” Paul told WND. “I had no interest in the politics.”
It’s the latest incarnation of a series of allegations Paul has maintained following the 2000 election. He said he made huge contributions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign after he was told by Clinton’s representative that Clinton had agreed to a plan to work with Paul after he left the White House.
Paul told WND that he was assured personally by Clinton on three occasions that the plan to have Clinton work with Paul’s company was fine.
The amended document lists as defendants William Jefferson Clinton, Gary Smith, Clinton spokesman James Levin, and Aaron Tonken.
The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of the $1.9 million plus punitive damages, which could be $30 million for his lost company, according to the filing prepared by Colette Wilson and Gary G. Kreep, of the USJF.
The Clintons’ longtime attorney David Kendall has in the past told WND he would not comment on the case. He stopped commenting to the media last December when the senator’s campaign was fined for filing false reports, which had hidden Paul’s contributions.
Paul said he was just trying to create a 21st Century Disney-style entertainment company based on the Internet, using the “most successful communicator to young people through superheroes,” Spiderman creator Stan Lee.
His plan, he said, was to reach an agreement with Bill Clinton so that following his departure from the White House he would do work as a “rainmaker” with the new company to raise its profile. A rainmaker is a leader who attracts investors, establishes banking relationships and draws partners.
To that goal, he said, he was willing to reach out to the Clintons by donating huge sums to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign as a “prelude” to the commitment he believes he was given from the Clintons. Paul says he was guided by DNC chairman Ed Rendell on how to approach Clinton and became Hillary Clinton’s largest campaign donor on Rendell’s advice and Clinton’s requests.
Then, however, a Clinton associate, Jim Levin, allegedly used proprietary information about a potential Japanese investor obtained from Paul and instead persuaded that investor to incorporate with Clinton’s agent, leaving Paul’s company without a needed cash infusion during the dot-com meltdown of the early 2000s, he says.
“They used all the trappings of the White House to sabotage my plans,” Paul told WND. He says the White House allowed Oto to have pictures taken in the Oval Office, then delivered those photos to Oto in Japan.
Some related issues were discussed during an earlier complaint brought by Judicial Watch in the U.S. Senate, where officials said the election concerns were without substantive merit. Paul’s civil complaint so far has survived challenges to dismiss up through the state Supreme Court and is set for trial next March.
Paul has been critical of the Judicial Watch filing, saying it failed to identify the significant issue of fraud in connection with the loss of a public company, and instead made it appear to be a political dispute.
Paul said the updated complaint, now being handled by USJF, focuses on the financial damage he suffered, and the roles played by Rendell and the Clintons.
The action alleges Paul, whose past includes convictions for cocaine possession and “liberating $8.7 million from Fidel Castro” in a black market coffee transaction, money later used for counterinsurgency activities in Venezuela and Colombia, began working with the then-77-year-old Stan Lee, creator of Spider Man, the Incredible Hulk and other characters, to build an international media company.
Paul noted that the convictions did not prevent him from working on a subsequent projects with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger and President Reagan, nor did it prevent him from obtaining the clearances to sit next to Bill Clinton at various fundraisers.
“Plaintiff achieved substantial success, and, after two mergers in 1999, Stan Lee Entertainment, Inc., became Stan Lee Media … a publicly traded company with a market capitalization of approximately $350 million,” a copy of the complaint said.
Then Paul was contacted by a former employee, Aaron Tonken, who had begun working for the Democratic National Committee, about establishing a relationship with Clinton through sponsoring a fund-raising event, and Paul “conceived of a plan to expedite his goals for Stan Lee Media and (another company) Mondo English by hiring CLINTON, at Plaintiff’s sole expense, to serve as an honorary board member and ‘rainmaker’ for the two companies when CLINTON left office in January 2001.”
Toward that goal, he says he first contributed $30,000, then more, and eventually a total of almost $2 million after being told he had a commitment from Clinton for a year’s worth of work in return for $10 million in Stan Lee Media stock, $5 million in cash and $1 million for the Clinton Presidential Library, plus underwriting “The Hollywood Gala Salute to President William Jefferson Clinton.”
“On or about July 13, 2000, CLINTON, through LEVIN as his agent, informed Plaintiff that his proposal had been accepted,” the lawsuit says.
However, the lawsuit alleges that was a sham to induce Paul to commit more money to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and eventually Levin was introduced by Paul to his Japanese business partner, Tendo Oto, founder of Venture Soft Co., Ltd.
Oto had indicated to Paul a willingness to invest $5 million in Stan Lee Media, but the lawsuit alleges that did not come, and eventually Paul discovered Levin “set up a U.S. subsidiary of Venture Soft called Venture Soft USA, Inc., on Oto’s behalf.”
The result of the lack of financing eventually forced the Stan Lee Media share price from $6 to $1, and “the company was forced to cease operations on December 19, 2000,” Paul said.
Even Chelsea Clinton was used to further the deceit, Paul alleges.
During a brunch at Barbra Streisand’s home, Chelsea Clinton “sought out Plaintiff, his wife, their guests, Oto and his translator, and LEVIN to relate her excitement about what Plaintiff as doing for her parents.”
And she discussed her father’s enthusiasm for working with Stan Lee Media.
However, the result of the machinations, Paul alleges, meant that Stan Lee Media failed, and Clinton did not then need to follow through on his “commitment” to work with the company.
This filing is just the latest in several years’ worth of work on the claims. Last January, the FEC issued a $35,000 fine to a joint fund-raising committee that included Clinton’s campaign, New York Senate 2000, for failing to report accurately $721,895 in contributions from Paul.
But the Senate Ethics complaint pursued by Judicial Watch did not produce any results for Paul. Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton called the determination a “free pass” for Hillary Clinton.
And a year earlier, Clinton’s former top fundraising aide, David Rosen, was acquitted for filing false campaign reports that later were charged by the FEC to treasurer Andrew Grossman, Rosen’s boss, who accepted responsibility in a conciliation agreement. Paul said that established his contention that he personally gave the money to Sen. Clinton’s campaign, and his contributions intentionally were hidden from the public and the FEC.
Paul also has documented his allegations in a declaration about the situation.
The USJF has appealed Hillary Clinton’s dismissal as a defendant in the case.
As WND has reported, Bill and Hillary Clinton head a list of potential witnesses in the suit that includes Muhammad Ali, Brad Pitt, Barbra Streisand, James Brolin, Cher and Whoopi Goldberg.