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TAT film scandal

July 16, 2013 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Hollywood Court uphold guilty verdict following an appeal. Hollywood couple sentenced to 3 years in prison. An FBI informant who blew the whistle on the Greens, indicated that the couple had helped secure their lucrative contracts by paying $1.8 million to the then governor of Thailand’s Tourism Authority.

In the past year, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been a major concern in Hollywood, since the entertainment industry does a lot of business overseas and has been chasing new opportunities in countries like China. A ruling last week by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will offer no relief from anxiety over potential liability when the USA decides to crack down on instances of bribery in foreign countries.

Gerald Green, 78, and Patricia Green 55, were sentenced to prison for six months in Los Angeles for bribing Thai officials so they could run the Bangkok International Film Festival.

The husband-and-wife team ran the Bangkok International Film Festival after winning contracts from the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The festival brought in an estimated $140 million of profits and ranked among the top 15 film festivals in the world. One industry insider once predicted the festival would “become the Cannes Film Festival of the East”.

The problem, as detailed by an informant who blew the whistle on the Greens, was that the couple image (3)had helped secure their lucrative contracts by paying $1.8 million to the then governor of Thailand’s Tourism Authority.

The Greens were charged and convicted of conspiracy and violations of the FCPA including money laundering after a jury found they had paid cash to the former TAT governor to secure the film festival rights, and other tourism-related deals, between 2002 and 2007.

The deals were said to have earned the Greens more than $13 million.

Prosecutors said they created shell companies to pay off Juthamas Siriwan, former governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

They then transferred money into bank accounts of Juthamas’ daughter and a friend so they would be awarded business contracts.

Juthamas has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged in Thailand. She and her daughter have been charged with conspiracy in Los Angeles however it has long been established that alleged irregularities plaguing the Bangkok Film Festival while she was in charge of the Tourism Authority of Thailand involved matters that were under her direct powers.

Officials don’t know if she and her daughter remain in Thailand or they have left the country.

The Greens helped transform the Bangkok Film Festival, attracting stars including Jeremy Irons and director Oliver Stone to Thailand for the event.

Gerald Green’s career in Hollywood spans more than 30 years. He worked with Stone on the Oscar-nominated “Salvador” and was executive producer on the 2006 film “Rescue Dawn” which starred Christian Bale.

Patricia Green produced the 1999 comedy “Diamonds” starring Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall.

The prison sentence was awarded despite a supportive letter to the court from the veteran Hollywood star Kirk Douglas.

The Greens were also ordered to serve six months of home detention after their jail sentence and pay $250,000.

Written by : Andrew J Wood

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