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Jury awards $7.3M in 'Man from U.N.C.L.E.' fraud case

Manfromuncle EXCLUSIVE: A Los Angeles jury has awarded $7.3 million to Anchor Bay Entertainment from a woman who was accused of selling rights to the classic TV series "Man from U.N.C.L.E." that she didn't own.

Lindsay Dunlap and her Ember Entertainment were on trial for fraud and breaching a 2005 contract with Anchor Bay, the DVD distribution arm of Starz Media. Dunlap allegedly approached Anchor Bay claiming to have rights to the hit 1964-68 series, which was originally produced by MGM but was later acquired by Warner Bros. TV (a film version is in the works at Warners).

Dunlap was able to produce "U.N.C.L.E." masters and footage for DVD extras so Anchor Bay gave her $625,000 ($500,000 for masters and $125,000 for the extras). But when Anchor Bay moved forward to create a DVD release of the classic espionage drama, WBTV sent a cease-and-desist letter claiming it owned the rights. Eventually, Anchor Bay targeted Dunlap and a lawsuit was filed in October 2007. A two-week jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court resulted in a $7.3 million verdict entered on Friday.

"Anchor Bay Entertainment is very pleased with the jury's verdict," Starz Media in-house attorney Bryan Duran said in a statement. "We were glad the jury was able to see through Dunlap's blatant fraud, holding the wrongdoer responsible for her brazen and reprehensible conduct.

An attorney for Dunlap has not returned a call seeking comment.