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Heading For Trial In Tinseltown

Our favorite news source here at the FCPA Blog — Variety — reports that the Hollywood film producers arrested for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act have pleaded not guilty and will go to trial on February 26, 2008. Gerald Green, 75, and his wife Patricia Green, 52, both of Los Angeles, were arrested on a criminal complaint filed in December 2007 in federal court in Los Angeles. The complaint alleges that the Greens conspired to pay more than $1.7 million in bribes to a government official with the Tourism Authority of Thailand in order to obtain a film festival contract worth more than $10 million. The Greens are out on $500,000 bail.

The trial could be a major embarrassment for at least one Thai government official. The FBI affidavit doesn’t name names. But the Feds describe then-governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and president of the Bangkok International Film Festival, Juthamas Siriwan. Variety says, “Siriwan, who has neither been charged in the U.S. nor in Thailand, has denied any suggestion of corruption. But the day after the charges against the Greens were made public, her political career took a dive and she resigned from the deputy chairmanship of the People’s Power Party.”

The Greens owned and operated Film Festival Management, a Los Angeles-based business formed in 2003 specifically to bid for the management contract for the Bangkok film festival. They also produced the movie “Rescue Dawn” last year. The bio-pic stars Christian Bale as a U.S. air force pilot shot down and captured by the Viet Cong in 1966. Bale’s a terrific actor so we flipped to the movie on a recent transpacific flight. It looked good — but too intense to watch at 40,000 feet. So we switched to an episode of “House,” followed by the “Office,” and then another confusing golf lesson.

FCPA-related trials are rare events — only individuals, not corporations, take their chances in court. So we’ll keep an eye on what happens with the Greens.

View Variety’s January 23, 2008 report Here.

View our prior post about the Greens Here.

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