WASHINGTON – LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien for the Central District of California announced that a Los Angeles-area film executive and his spouse were indicted late yesterday on allegations of making corrupt payments to a Thai government official in order to obtain lucrative contracts to run an international film festival held annually in Bangkok, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Gerald Green, 75, and his wife Patricia Green, 52, both of West Hollywood, co-owners of Film Festival Management, Inc. (FFM), a Los Angeles-based film company, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on one count of conspiracy to bribe a foreign public official in violation of the FCPA and six substantive counts of violating the FCPA.
The charges stem from a conspiracy to make more than $900,000 in bribe payments for the benefit of a government official who headed the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to obtain contracts to manage and operate the annual Bangkok International Film Festival (“BKKIFF”) from 2002-2007.
According to the indictment, the Greens owned and operated Film Festival Management, which was formed in 2002 specifically to obtain the contracts to operate and manage the BKKIFF. As charged, from 2002 and continuing into 2007, the Greens conspired with others to bribe a senior Thai government official who was, at the time, the president of the BKKIFF and the governor of the TAT. As a result of her position at the TAT, the governor was able to influence the awarding of the BKKIFF contracts. More than $900,000 in payments are alleged to have been made for the benefit of the governor in exchange for payments totaling more than $7,000,000 under the BKKIFF contracts. The indictment charges that 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. The indictment further charges that the Greens disguised the bribes as “sales commission” payments and made the payments for the benefit of the governor through the foreign bank accounts of intermediaries, including bank accounts in the name of the governor’s daughter.
The Greens were charged by criminal complaint on Dec. 7, 2007, and arrested on Dec. 17, 2007.
The conspiracy and FCPA allegations each carry a maximum of five years in prison.
The criminal case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jonathan E. Lopez of the Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Searby of the Central District of California. The case was investigated by agents of the FBI, Los Angeles Field Office.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.