Film Festival Bribes – Film Executive Guilty of Paying Bribes to Thai Tourism Official –

LOS ANGELES – Two West Hollywood film executives have been found guilty of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in relation to a sophisticated bribery scheme that enabled the defendants to obtain a series of Thai government contracts, including valuable contracts to manage and operate Thailand’s yearly film festival.

Gerald Green, 77, and Patricia Green, 52, were convicted by a federal jury late Friday of conspiracy, violating the FCPA and money laundering. Patricia Green was also found guilty of falsely subscribing U.S. to income tax returns in connection with this scheme.

The Greens were charged on March 11, 2009, in a second superseding indictment with paying kickbacks to the former governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in exchange for receiving contracts to manage and operate Thailand’s annual Bangkok International Film Festival, as well as contracts to provide an elite tourism “privilege card” marketed to wealthy foreigners.

According to the second superseding indictment, the Greens paid approximately $1.8 million in bribes to the former governor through numerous bank accounts in Singapore, the United Kingdom and the Isle of Jersey in the name of the former governor’s daughter and a friend of the former governor. The Greens received contracts that generated more than $13.5 million in revenue to their businesses.

The Greens were found guilty of conspiring to violate the FCPA and money laundering laws of the United States, nine counts of violating the FCPA and seven counts of money laundering. Patricia Green was found guilty of two counts of falsely subscribing to a U.S. income tax return – specifically, Form 1120 – knowing that the false and overstated figure included the bribes to the former governor, described as “commissions.”

The evidence presented during a 2½-week trial showed that, beginning in 2002 and continuing into 2007, the Greens conspired with others to bribe the former governor of the TAT in order to get the lucrative film festival contracts as well as other TAT contracts. As a result of the then-governor’s position at the TAT, the former governor was able to influence the awarding of these contracts. In furtherance of the conspiracy, the Greens used different business entities, some with dummy business addresses and telephone numbers, in their dealings with the TAT in order to hide the large amount of money the Greens were being paid under the contracts. Moreover, the trial evidence showed that the Greens disguised the bribes as “sales commission” payments and made the payments for the benefit of the former governor through the foreign bank accounts of intermediaries, including bank accounts in the name of the former governor’s daughter and friend.

The conspiracy and FCPA charges each carry a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison. Each of the money laundering counts carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The tax charges against Patricia Green each carry a statutory maximum penalty of three years in prison.

The Greens are scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu on December17.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS-Criminal Investigation. The case was jointly prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice.

CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Bruce H. Searby

Major Frauds Section

(213) 894-5423

USAO Release No. 09-112

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