California Filmmaker Pleads Guilty to Iowa Tax Credit Fraud Case
DES MOINES – A California film producer who is currently serving federal prison time for fraud pleaded guilty in Polk County District Court on Tuesday to laying charges of fraud, forgery and conspiracy to commit forgery as part of the ill-fated Iowa Film Tax Credit program.
Harel Goldstein, 50, of Calabasas, Calif., Admitted in court Tuesday that he used the pseudonym “Harel Gold” in a contract with the state of Iowa. He said he wanted to hide the fact that he had previously pleaded guilty to federal bank fraud. for fakes related to film financing.
In his guilty plea, Goldstein – who produced the film “Underground” in Newton in 2009 – said former director of the Iowa film bureau, Tom Wheeler, was aware of his real name and location. story, but Goldstein said Wheeler allowed him to sign contracts as “Harel Gold.”
A Polk County jury found Wheeler not guilty last year of any foul play in his dealings with Goldstein, however Wheeler was convicted of one count of misconduct in the line of duty and received a judgment deferred, two years probation and ordered to pay $ 750. civil penalty, restitution and court costs, costs and surcharges.
Prosecutors said during the filming of “Underground” in 2009, Goldstein created bogus invoices and used them to support tax credit claims.
Goldstein will face an estimated one-year extension to his 46-month federal sentence, according to the Iowa attorney general’s office. He pleaded guilty to all three counts without a plea agreement. As a result, Polk County District Judge Karen Romano accepted both sides’ recommendations and sentenced Goldstein to three suspended sentences, including two years probation and a fine of $ 2,500. Goldstein was also ordered to pay the cost of transportation to Iowa and back to California.