Sentencing for Gerald Green and his wife Patricia, the Hollywood movie producers convicted last year of paying kickbacks to a Thai official in exchange for contracts, has been postponed until March 11.
The Greens were scheduled to learn their sentences at a hearing in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday. Judge George Wu instead asked for more information from the parties. He said he wants Gerald Green's lawyers to provide a summarized medical report and he asked prosecutors for an official statement from the Thai government declaring that Thailand was harmed by the Greens’ bribery.
In a signal that he may be uncomfortable with the long sentences requested by the government under the federal guidelines, he also asked both sides for research showing prison terms from similar bribery cases.
A report of the hearing appears in the Wrap here.
Gerald Green, 78, appeared in court on Thursday "with a small oxygen tank slung over his shoulder," the report said. His lawyers argue that he needs constant medical care. In their sentencing memo they said:
Not only does Mr. Green suffer from extremely severe emphysema, his condition is progressive. He has already lost so much lung function that he has none left to spare. At his current capacity every breath is a struggle. At the core of the issue is that ANY lung function lost due to any delay or interruption in his regime of treatment is permanent. This was clearly illustrated during the early period of this case when Mr. Green could not utilize steam therapy because of the monitoring device. During that period of time there was a decrease in lung function.
During Thursday's hearing, the Wrap said Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Searby "was visibly perplexed" by Judge Wu's requests:
“Don’t you like the give and take of argument?” Wu asked, smiling at Lopez. “Don’t you get this in Washington D.C.?”
All Lopez could say to Wu’s concern was, “It shouldn’t be that you can go out and bribe someone just as long as the host country profits from the bribe.”
Gerald Green faces 20 to 25 years under the federal sentencing guidelines; the government has asked that he be jailed for life. His wife Patricia, 55, could be sentenced to between 19 and 24 years.
A jury convicted them in September of conspiring to violate the FCPA and money laundering laws, nine counts of violating the FCPA and seven counts of money laundering. Patricia Green was found guilty of two counts of subscribing to a U.S. income tax return knowing it contained false statements.
The Thai official named in the Greens' prosecution has been indicted with her daughter. The indictment unsealed Tuesday in Los Angeles charges Juthamas Siriwan, the ex-governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and her daughter, Jittisopa Siriwan, with one count of conspiracy, seven counts of transporting funds to promote unlawful activity (bribery), and one count of aiding and abetting. If convicted, Siriwan and her daughter each face up to 20 years in prison. Siriwan has said she is innocent.
A copy of the indictment in U.S. v. Juthamas Siriwan in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Case No.: CR 09 00081) can be downloaded here.