Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Peter Hoffman and Susan Hoffman Sentenced for Roles in Film Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that PETER HOFFMAN and SUSAN HOFFMAN were sentenced today for their roles in a scheme to defraud the State of Louisiana out of film infrastructure tax credits.
U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman sentenced PETER HOFFMAN to five years probation, $40,000 fine and 300 hours of community service. SUSAN HOFFMAN was sentenced to 3 years probation, $10,000 fine, and 150 hours of community service.
According to evidence presented at trial, more than $13 million in purported expenditures were submitted to the State for tax credits even though the house at the center of the project, 807 Esplanade, was only valued at approximately $5 million after its renovation. In addition to repeated misrepresentations regarding construction expenditures throughout the scheme, the fraudulent expenditures claimed included $1,834,292 in non-existent film equipment, $962,856 in bogus interest payments on a non-existent $10 million dollar loan, $150,000 in fake rent costs, and over $1.5 million in various fraudulent fees.
“I thank the Assistant U.S. Attorneys and agents for their diligent, thorough, and ethical work in investigating and prosecuting this case,” stated U.S. Attorney Polite. “As a result of their collective efforts, a jury convicted Peter Hoffman, Susan Hoffman, and Michael Arata of fraud and conspiracy for their roles in a scheme that utilized bogus invoices, fake expenditures, and varied misrepresentations to defraud the State of Louisiana and its citizens out of millions of dollars. This criminality was compounded by the fact that, as the Court found during sentencing, Peter Hoffman and Michael Arata used sophisticated means and abused positions of trust in committing these felonies, and Hoffman committed perjury during the trial. We will review this matter and consider seeking appeal of the sentences of all three defendants.”
“At a time when Louisiana’s state budget is bleeding and many critical government services are endangered, the fraud committed in this case is especially outrageous,” stated Louisiana State Inspector General Stephen Street. “Those who are brazen enough to defraud these tax credit programs should know that we will continue to come after them with every resource at our disposal and do everything in our power to make them suffer the consequences. Again, I want to thank our partners at the FBI and United States Attorney’s Office for their continued outstanding work on this case.”
United States Attorney Polite praised the work of the Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Louisiana Office of the Inspector General in investigating this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorneys G. Dall Kammer, Chandra Menon and James Baehr were in charge of the prosecution.