In a few weeks, Gerald Green will walk away from a federal bureau of prisons half-way house in Long Beach, California.
After he leaves, the former high-flying Hollywood movie producer — now 79 and broke and suffering from emphysema — can stay at the West Hollywood home he owns with his wife and co-defendant, Patricia, but only until August 1st. Then the federal government will seize the house under the court’s forfeiture order.
In 2009, an LA jury found the Greens guilty of paying $1.8 million in bribes to Juthamas Siriwan, then-governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, in exchange for $13.5 million in contracts to produce the Bangkok film festival.
The government pushed for long prison sentences for their FCPA offenses and money laundering — at least ten years for each of the Greens. Judge George Wu saw it differently. He let them off with six-months behind bars, followed by three years of supervised release. Gerald Green served most of his time at Terminal Island, California. His wife was 85 miles away, in Victorville prison in Adelanto.
The government also seized their assets — the house, their car, bank accounts, their company and its pension plan, everything.
With the Greens now broken and broke, is that the end of the case? Not yet. The DOJ is appealing against their short prison terms. The final briefs aren’t due until late August or September.
If the government wins its appeal, will the Greens go back to prison? It’s still not clear if that’s what prosecutors want, but it could be.
The Greens, meanwhile, can’t afford to hire lawyers for the appeal so the court has appointed counsel for them. Patricia Green, 56, is represented by her lawyer from the trial, Marilyn Bednarski of Kaye, McLane and Bednarski, a criminal defense firm in LA.
Gerald Green’s lawyer for the appeal will be Harold J. Krent. He’s the dean and a professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. His bio says he served on the DOJ’s appellate staff at the civil division, “writing briefs and arguing cases in various courts of appeals across the nation.”
Among Gerald Green’s fourteen Hollywood credits as producer or executive producer are Rescue Dawn (2006), Diamonds (1999), The New Swiss Family Robinson (1998), and Salvador (1986).
He and his wife brought the Bangkok film festival to prominence as its operators from 2004 to 2006.
They’re the only husband and wife ever convicted of FCPA offenses.