NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The former director of the Louisiana Film Commission has been charged with taking $65,000 to approve valuable tax credits based on inflated budgets for movies made in the state, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said Friday.
Mark S. Smith, 46, was charged in a bill of information with one count of conspiracy and one of bribery. The crimes are alleged to have taken place between 2003 and 2005.
Smith is no longer with state government and was not immediately available for comment. Letten said he will be arraigned soon but did not give a date. The name of the film company involved was not made public.
Friday’s announcement marked the latest in a string of corruption charges announced by the federal government. Earlier this week, a New Orleans City Council member resigned after pleading guilty to bribery in a long-running investigation of city government.
Charges against Smith are the first to arise from a probe of the film industry in Louisiana, where producers can get lucrative tax credits for productions in the state.