It’s the end of December, 1979. Nearly three full years of exhaustive & non-stop networking, promoting, and developing all of the artistic and financial aspects of Lord of Light and Theme Park Science Fiction Land — I got the call that my offices in Denver, Colorado where being raided by the Police and possibly the FBI. I was in California, thinking about Directors for the Film, Architects for the Theme Park, a half-dozen scientists with whom I wanted to talk about their new technologies.
Boom! Suddenly there is a warrant out for my arrest! Just days earlier a six-figure check from one of the new developer-investors landed at my Attorney’s. I’d made a deal for millions with a group of investor-developers a few weeks prior. What happened to the new car I was contemplating? The magazine interview with Time? The celebration with Jack Kirby and Ray Bradbury? Now I am hiding out at a friend’s house; my finance manager and attorney firm tells me “not to touch the money.” (Which proved to be good advice). My big Western-U.S. legal firm found me a former Deputy Attorney General of Colorado to represent me. I flew into Denver to turn myself in, lest I get “caught” for something like a traffic ticket and spend weeks being extradited. The charges against me were security violations — taking money from an old man with limited funds and promising multiples in return.
In Denver Criminal Court. The arresting officer was sad because he said he’d wanted to be able to take his children to Science Fiction Land. In this photo you see me coming out of jail, after making bail — put up by a personal friend of one of my investors.
I was in Court for about 1/2 hour, enough time for my attorney to show the Judge (Hi Joe, Hi Jim) firstly I’d not been present in Denver on the day of the “contract signing” and secondly it wasn’t my original signature on the illegal securities document but clearly that of a xerox copy (of my signature). Bang! went the gavel. While the other guys (who’d tried to blame me for everything) went to jail, I was released and acquitted from all further proceedings and I went home. And the crumbled dreams of Science Fiction Land and Lord of Light went home with me.