Aug 262009
 
Authors: Greg Risling

LOS ANGELES – A filmmaking couple devised an intricate system of bribes to Thai officials in order to land lucrative projects such as the Bangkok International Film Festival, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday during opening statements of their trial.

Gerald and Patricia Green created shell companies and paid off the former governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Juthamas Siriwan, by transferring money into bank accounts of Juthamas’ daughter and a friend so they would be awarded business contracts, said Jonathan Lopez, a senior trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The “bribes-for-contracts” scheme netted the Los Angeles couple about $13.5 million, Lopez said.

“This case is about greed, it’s about corruption and it’s about deceit,” Lopez told the seven man-five woman jury. The Greens “turned TAT into their own personal piggy bank,” he said.

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