Pattaya Daily News

13 August 2010 :: 13:08:35 pm 35182

US Producers Sentenced in Thai Film Festival Bribery Case

An American filmmaking couple was sentenced on the Thursday to six months in prison for bribing Thai officials in their bid to stage the Thai International Film Festival over a 5-year period.
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United States, the 12th of August 2010: Both Gerald Green [78] and his wife Patricia [55], acclaimed film producers, were sentenced by a US District Court on Thursday under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Judge George Wu said that the couple’s crimes were “serious” but in terms of precedent were relatively minor, before handing down a six-month prison sentence to the pair. In addition, they will be required to complete six months home detention and pay US$250,000 in restitution.

Given the magistrates previous statement  on the Greens case and the fact that Gerald suffers from emphysema, leniency was awarded by the judge, who reasoned that a prolonged prison sentence probably would adversely affect him. Character references supporting the Greens were provided by renowned actor Michael Douglas and acclaimed film producers Dino De Laurentiis and Mario Kassar.

The couple were convicted on conspiracy and money laundering charges in September, with a jury finding they had bribed the former Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor US$1.8 million to secure a lucrative contract relating to the organisation of the Thai International Film Festival.

Reportedly, the couple benefited to the tune of US$13 million whilst staging the popular festival over a 5-year period. Mrs. Juthamas Siriwan (former TAT governor) and her daughter have been indicted in Los Angeles on conspiracy and eight other counts, but have faced no charges in Thailand. If convicted they could face up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors explained how the Green’s paid a substantial amount of money from various shell companies to the bank accounts of Mrs. Juthamas’ daughter and a friend enabling them to secure the lucrative Thai Film Festival contracts for 2002-2007.

The Greens, the first entertainment figures to be convicted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, denied that the payments were bribes and questioned the prosecutions theory that the couple made a substantial profit from their work in Thailand.

Despite the controversy surrounding the contracts, the Green’s helped transform the Thai festival into a prominent focus on the international film screening circuit, attracting the likes of Michael Douglas, Jeremy Irons and Olive Stone to the Kingdom during the five-year time span.

Gerald Green has been involved in the Hollywood scene for more than 30-years, joining with Oliver Stone to producer “Salvador,” nominated for two academy awards. He also served as the executive producer on the set of “Rescue Dawn” led by Christian Bale. His wife Patricia produced the comedy, “Diamonds” starring Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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