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NCJ Number: 68487 Find in a Library
Title: THERE'S NO BUSINESS FRAUD LIKE SHOW BUSINESS FRAUD
Journal: POLICE MAGAZINE  Dated:(JULY 1980)  Pages:60-64
Author(s): P G LEVINE
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: IN 1977, A COLUMBIA PICTURES EXECUTIVE PLEADED 'NO CONTEST' TO CHARGES OF GRAND THEFT, AND TWO OTHER MOVIE FRAUDS, INVOLVING $1.5 MILLION WERE DISCOVERED, LEADING TO INVESTIGATIONS OF THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.
Abstract: THESE INVESTIGATIONS WERE LAUNCHED BY THE U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE (CALIFORNIA) WHICH SET UP A TASK FORCE IN 1978. AS A RESULT OF TASK FORCE INVESTIGATIONS, MANY LOWER LEVEL INDUSTRY FIGURES WERE INDICTED AND THE AMOUNT OF STOLEN AND EMBEZZLED MONEY TOTALED ALMOST $3 MILLION. MEMBERS OF THE THREE-MAN TASK FORCE, A SPECIAL UNIT WITHIN THE FRAUD DIVISION OF THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, DESCRIBE THEIR WORK AS SOMETIMES TEDIOUS AND DIFFICULT. CASES ARE CHOSEN THAT ATTRACT WIDESPREAD INTEREST IN ORDER TO SET AN EXAMPLE AND TO DISCOURAGE SIMILAR CRIMES IN THE FUTURE. IN ADDITION, THE AMOUNT OF MONEY INVOLVED IN THE FRAUD SHOULD BE SIGNIFICANT ENOUGH TO WARRANT TASK FORCE ATTENTION. MOST CASES ORIGINATE WITH ANONYMOUS TIPS BUT INFORMATION ON ALLEGED FRAUDS HAS INCREASINGLY COME FROM INSIDE SOURCES, USUALLY AS A RESULT OF STUDIO AUDITS. A TEAM OF AUDITORS ASSIGNED TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S FRAUD UNIT ASSISTS IN INVESTIGATIONS. SINCE THE FORMATION OF THE UNIT, STUDIOS HAVE BECOME MORE COOPERATIVE. CASES THAT WERE BROKEN, PARTLY BECAUSE OF INDUSTRY COOPERATION, HAVE INCLUDED GRAND THEFT CHARGES AGAINST GERALD HAILE, WEST COAST FILM DISTIBUTION MANAGER FOR PARAMOUNT PICTURES, RESULTING IN 3 YEARS PROBATION FOR THE MANAGER; ALLEGED EMBEZZLEMENT BY FREEMAN PACKARD, A PARAMOUNT PICTURES PRODUCTION SUPPORT COORDINATOR, AND HIS ROOMMATE OF $337,312; AND A GUILTY PLEA BY DON YOTT, ADMINISTRATOR OF FINANCES AND OPERATIONS OF THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES, OF STEALING $22,999. TASK FORCE MEMBERS CONTEND THAT COMPANIES HAVE IMPLEMENTED MORE STRINGENT BOOKKEEPING PROCEDURES AS A RESULT OF THEIR INVESTIGATIONS, ALTHOUGH SPOKESMEN FOR SEVERAL COMPANIES CONTRACTED SAID THEIR ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES WERE ALWAYS STRINGENT. THE TASK FORCE HAS ALSO BEEN CRITICIZED FOR NOT YET UNCOVERING A CASE IN THE RECORD INDUSTRY WHERE CORRUPTION IS ALLEGEDLY RAMPANT. PHOTOGRAPHS ARE PROVIDED. (AOP)
Index Term(s): Business crime costs; California; Embezzlement; White collar crime
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68487

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