Producer of The Tudors indicted for fraud in movie financing

Gary Howsam, a producer involved in the The Tudors television series, has been indicted in Los Angeles on financing fraud charges.

A producer involved in theThe Tudors television series has been indicted in Los Angeles on financing fraud charges.

Gary Howsam, 60, faces one count of bank fraud and six counts of false statements in a loan document.

An indictment returned by a grand jury accuses the producer of using bogus contracts with foreign distributors to help secure millions of dollars in loans to finance a movie.

The former chief executive of Greenlight Film and Television, Howsam has helped produce dozens of films, including 2002's Global Heresy starring Peter O'Toole and 2001's Ignition with Bill Pullman.

More recently, he was a producer on Showtime's The Tudors,which also airs on CBC-TV.

After his arrest earlier this month, Howsam was placed on administrative leave from his post as chief executive of Toronto-based production house Peace Arch Motion Pictures.

Howsam's lawyer, Donald Randolph, has said his client "looks forward to an opportunity to clear his name in these matters."

The charges stem from loans Howsam obtained in 2000 to finance the production of the film Going Back. Greenlight hired another company, Hilltop Entertainment, to help sell the movie overseas.

Prosecutors say Howsam and Hilltop co-owner Harel Goldstein doctored foreign distribution contracts to give the impression that companies in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Japan had already paid for rights to distribute Going Back.

Howsam then allegedly used those forged contracts to help secure a production loan of more than $4.8 million from Comerica Bank, prosecutors contend.

Each count against Howsam carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, federal authorities said. He's been released on $500,000 bond and placed under house arrest.

Goldstein previously signed a plea deal with the government in which he agreed to provide information about his co-operation with Howsam in the alleged scam, authorities said.