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Lawyer sues "The Oatmeal" and charities after fans raise $200K

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   June 19, 2012 at 2:20 PM   |   Comments

June 19 (UPI) -- Charles Carreon, the lawyer hired by FunnyJunk.com to threaten The Oatmeal with a federal lawsuit, has actually gone through with his threats.

Carreon has moved forward and filed a federal lawsuit Friday against Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), IndieGoGo Inc., the website which hosted Inman's "BearLove Good. Cancer Bad" charitable fundraiser, and the fundraiser's beneficiaries, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

In the Courthouse News Service description of the case, dug up by attorney and legal blogger Kevin Underhill, describes Carreon's complaints of "cyber-vandalism."

"Defendants Inman and IndieGoGo are commercial fundraisers that filed to file disclosures or annual reports. Inman launched a Bear Love campaign, which purports to raise money for defendant charitable organizations, but was really designed to revile plaintiff and his client, FunnyJunk.com, and to initiate a campaign of 'trolling' and cybervandalism against them."

Carreon claims he's been subject to harassment, that Inman "marshal[ed] an army of people who would besiege my website and send me a string of obscene emails."

"I'm completely unfamiliar with this style of responding to a legal threat--I've really never seen it before," Carreon told MSNBC. "I don't like seeing anyone referring to my mother as a sexual deviant." [Slightly NSFW]

Inman has responded with an open letter posted to The Oatmeal, in which he denies encouraging any of his fans to contact Carreon.

"In my original letter, I blurred out your contact information and I linked to your Wikipedia page instead of your website," he writes. "If I've directed anyone anywhere, it's been to the fundraiser page."

One week into the fundraiser, "BearLove Good. Cancer Bad." has raised nearly $200,000. Ken White, an attorney who the legal blog Popehat, along with Kevin Underhill, have offered their pro-bono services to help defend Inman, IndieGoGo, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

Follow @gabbilevy and @UPI on Twitter.
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