Man behind film tax credit scam must serve probation, pay fines
BATON ROUGE - The Department of Justice says the man behind a film tax credit scam will be placed on probation and must pay restitution to the state.
46-year-old George Kostuch was sentenced by a U.S. District Judge Thursday to serve three years of probation and ordered to pay $161,850 in restitution.
Kostuch previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud the State of Louisiana’s Motion Picture Industry Development Tax Credit Program. Authorities say Kostuch owned and was associated with two film production companies and obtained tax credits for an episodic game show series that was to focus on sports trivia.
While entering his guilty plea, Kostuch admitted that, from June 2010 to March 2011, he used his control over companies in the industry to cause fraudulent checks to be issued and delivered. The checks totaled $539,000 issued for production expenses for production that never happened.
The Louisiana Economic Development Office issued a certified tax credit in the amount of $161,850 to Kostuch and others he was associated with. They received the benefit of the tax credit knowing that it had been obtained through false representation, according to United States Attorney Walt Green.