Guilty Verdict Returned Against Peter Hoffman, Michael Arata, and Susan Hoffman for Fraudulent Film Tax Credit Scheme
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that this afternoon, a jury returned guilty verdicts against three defendants for their participation in a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as part of a fraudulent tax credit scheme.
The jury found PETER M. HOFFMAN, age 65, of Los Angeles, guilty on Counts 1 through 21, which includes a variety of substantive mail and wire fraud offenses. In total, PETER HOFFMAN faces 405 years in prison. MICHAEL P. ARATA, age 49, of New Orleans, was convicted on Counts 1 through 7, 13, and 21 through 25, which includes four counts of making false statements. He faces a maximum of 185 years in prison. Lastly, the jury found SUSAN HOFFMAN, age 69, of New Orleans, guilty on Counts 1, 11, and 21, for which she faces a total of 45 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Polite stated: “I appreciate the hard work of AUSAs Baehr, Kammer, and Menon, as well as our law enforcement partners from the FBI and the Louisiana Office of the Inspector General. We are pleased with the verdict, and we thank the jury and the court for their consideration of this case. This case is important because it sends the message that our state’s business, especially our growing film industry, will no longer fall prey to fraud and corruption. Just as important, today’s verdict underscores the fact that wherever we find criminal conduct, as we did in the case of the Hoffmans and Michael Arata, we will follow the facts and bring justice to those individuals, regardless of where they live, their wealth, or their last names.”
Louisiana State Inspector General Stephen Street commented: “I am pleased that the jury saw this for what it was: plain and simple thievery. These guilty verdicts should send the message loud and clear that we have zero tolerance for those who defraud Louisiana's tax credit programs, and will continue to make pursuing these criminal cases a top priority. I want to thank our partners at the FBI and United States Attorney’s Office for their outstanding work on this case, and in particular the Assistant United States Attorneys for a fine job with the prosecution.”