Producer Peter Hoffman Convicted of Film Tax-Credit Fraud

Peter Hoffman

The Seven Arts Entertainment CEO faces a maximum of 405 years in prison.

Seven Arts Entertainment CEO Peter Hoffman and two business partners were convicted Monday of conspiracy to wire fraud in connection with a project to turn a New Orleans mansion into a film postproduction facility.

Peter Hoffman, his wife, Susan Hoffman, and attorney-actor Michael Arata were found guilty of submitting false expense reports to defraud Louisiana's state tax-credit program of $1.13 million, the Times-Picayune reports.

Peter Hoffman, who produced such films as The Believer and Rules of Engagement, also was convicted on 21 related counts of wire and mail fraud. He faces a maximum sentence of 405 years in prison, according to prosecutors.

Arata was convicted on seven counts of wire fraud and four counts of giving false statements, and he faces a maximum sentence of 185 years. Susan was convicted of the conspiracy charge and one count of mail fraud, landing a maximum sentence of 45 years.

The prosecution's case centered on transactions in which money was juggled between accounts for Seven Arts and a number of shell companies. The jury deliberated for 10 hours following two weeks of testimony. 

The studio opened in 2012 and has been used for a number of film, TV and commercial endeavors.