Hollywood and the FCPA


With the guilty verdict in the case of handbag magnate Frederic Bourke and while waiting for the verdict in the Jefferson corruption case, we can turn to Hollywood for the next FCPA trial. The U.S. Attorney’s office charged a Hollywood producer with paying bribes to a foreign official.

Gerald and Patricia Green are accused of paying a Thai official $1.8 million between 2002 and 2006 in order to obtain $14 million worth of contracts. Prosecutors claim the couple paid off Juthamas Siriwan, the former governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which puts on Bangkok’s international film festival. Gerald Green was the producer of Werner Herzog’s Resuce Dawn along with a dozen other movies.

Richard Cassin of the FCPA Blog is providing coverage, including an insight to trial strategy:

Prosecutors plan to introduce into evidence a Thai anti-bribery statute that applies to public officials (here). That law — even if it’s rarely enforced — probably blocks the Greens from raising the local-law affirmative defense. The FCPA allows otherwise prohibited payments if the “payment, gift, offer, or promise of anything of value that was made, was lawful under the written laws and regulations of the foreign official’s” country. 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1(c)(1), 78dd-2(c)(1) and 78dd-3(c)(1). The defense is rarely available because most countries, like Thailand, have anti-corruption laws.

The trial starts today in California. Patricia Green is represented by Marilyn Bednarski of Pasadena’s Kaye, McLane & Bednarski. Gerald Green is represented by Jerome Mooney of L.A.’s Weston, Garrou, Walters & Mooney.


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