More charges expected in Louisiana
By Pamela Cole
Aug. 30, 2007 (BATON ROUGE)Mark Smith, former director
of the Louisiana Film Commission, was charged with one count of
bribery and one count of conspiracy on Aug. 20 by U.S. Attorney
Jim Letten, in an ongoing federal investigation into alleged abuse
of Louisiana's motion picture tax credit program. Smith worked for
the state's Film Commission from 2002 to 2006. He is accused of
accepting $65,000 in bribes to approve tax credits for films produced
An arraignment hearing is scheduled for Sept. 7, but sources say
the hearing may not be necessary since Smith is expected to plead
guilty. Smith, 46, could face 10 years in prison and up to a $100,000
fine on the bribery charge, and five years' imprisonment and up
to a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge, plus three years of
Letten said he expects more charges to result from the investigation,
a joint effort by federal prosecutors, the FBI, and the IRS.
Louisiana offers the most generous film incentives in America.
Since the state enacted the film incentives in 2002, it has become
the third most popular US site for film production, after Los Angeles
and New York.
See previous article on this topic.