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UPDATE: Judge Denies Seven Arts Founder’s Motion To Have Louisiana Tax Fraud Charges Dismissed

UPDATE: Judge Denies Seven Arts Founder’s Motion To Have Louisiana Tax Fraud Charges DismissedUPDATED, 1:47 PM: A federal judge has denied Seven Arts Entertainment founder Peter Hoffman’s motion to dismiss the fraud charges against him stemming from $1.13 million he obtained in Louisiana tax credits to refurbish a run-down old New Orleans mansion and turn it into a state-of-the-are postproduction facility. Hoffman declined comment until he’s had time to study the judge’s 27-page ruling. A trail is set for January 20.

peter-hoffman-seven-artsPREVIOUSLY, June 2: The founder of Seven Arts Entertainment claims that he did nothing wrong in obtaining tax credits to restore a rundown New Orleans mansion and convert it into a modern postproduction facility. Peter Hoffman has filed a motion to dismiss the criminal tax fraud charges (read it here) brought against him by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisiana in February. The 22-count indictment accuses Hoffman, a former business partner, and Hoffman’s ex-wife, producer Susan Hoffman, of conspiring to secure $1.13 million in Louisiana tax credits without having done the work they told state officials they were going to do. All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Related: Peter Hoffman Says He’s Being “Targeted” By Federal Prosecutors In Louisiana Film Tax Fraud Case

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Seven Arts Founder Peter Hoffman Pleads Not Guilty To Tax Credit Fraud In Louisiana

Seven Arts Founder Peter Hoffman Pleads Not Guilty To Tax Credit Fraud In LouisianaPeter Hoffman pleaded not guilty today at his arraignment in Federal District Court in New Orleans on six felony counts of defrauding Louisiana’s film incentive program. A trial has been set for January. A hearing on the Seven Arts Entertainment founder’s motion to dismiss the charges is scheduled for July 16. Hoffman, his ex-wife, producer Susan Hoffman, and actor and film producer Michael Arata – whose wife is the deputy mayor PeterHoffman-RingMasterofSevenArtsof New Orleans – were indicted earlier this year in what federal prosecutors allege was a conspiracy to defraud the state of $1.13 million in Louisiana tax credits without having done the work they told state officials they were going to do to turn a rundown Crescent City mansion into a state-of-the-art postproduction house and residence for visiting film crews. The arraignment of Susan Hoffman and Arata was continued until June 25.

Related: Peter Hoffman Says He’s Being “Targeted” By Prosecutors

At the heart of the case is a once-elegant three-story mansion at 807 Esplanade Avenue in the French Quarter that had been abandoned for years and fallen into a severe state of disrepair before Seven Arts bought it in 2007. After obtaining Louisiana tax credits to perform major repairs and restoration, it reopened as Esplanade Studios in July 2012.

Related: Seven Arts Stock Plummets To One-Tenth Of A Penny

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Seven Arts’ Peter Hoffman Files To Have Louisiana Tax Fraud Charges Dismissed

Esplanade StudiosThe founder of Seven Arts Entertainment claims that he did nothing wrong in obtaining tax credits to restore a rundown New Orleans mansion and convert it into a modern postproduction facility. Peter Hoffman has filed a motion to dismiss the criminal tax fraud charges (read it here) brought against him by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisiana in February. The 22-count indictment accuses Hoffman, a former business partner, and Hoffman’s ex-wife, producer Susan Hoffman, of conspiring to secure $1.13 million in Louisiana tax credits without having done the work they told state officials they were going to do. All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Related: Peter Hoffman Says He’s Being “Targeted” By Federal Prosecutors In Louisiana Film Tax Fraud Case

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Seven Arts Stock Plummets To One-Tenth Of A Penny

By | Tuesday May 27, 2014 @ 3:45pm PDT

Seven ArtsThe beleaguered Seven Arts Entertainment lost an additional 35% of its stock value today, closing at $0.0011 a share. The loss comes after the NASDAQ-traded stock plunged 15% on Friday. The company’s shares now sell for about one-tenth of a penny – down from a 52-week high of $17.50. As reported here Monday, Seven Arts Entertainment, in its 2013 corporate presentation, stated that its stock recently had sold for as high as $517.84 a share – which might PeterHoffman-RingMasterofSevenArtshave to do with the fact that in February the company announced a 1-for-100 reverse split on its common stock. Peter Hoffman, who founded the company, is under indictment in Louisiana for allegedly taking part in a “fraudulent tax credit scheme” in which federal prosecutors say the “fraudulently submitted materially false and misleading documents and information” to the state of Louisiana “in order to receive infrastructure tax credits.” Hoffman, who flatly denies the allegations, says his attorneys will file a motion to dismiss the charges Wednesday. Hoffman stepped down as CEO of Seven Arts Entertainment last year, though he remains its chief counsel and a member of its board of directors.

Related: Peter Hoffman Says He’s Being “Targeted” By Federal Prosecutors In Louisiana Film Tax Fraud Case

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Peter Hoffman Says He’s Being “Targeted” By Federal Prosecutors In Louisiana Film Tax Fraud Case

PeterHoffman-RingMasterofSevenArtsHe beat federal prosecutors on felony tax fraud charges once before, and former Seven Arts Entertainment CEO Peter Hoffman says he’ll do it again. Indicted in April for allegedly masterminding a fraudulent film tax credit scheme in Louisiana, Hoffman told Deadline that he believes the U.S. Attorney’s office has “targeted” him because of his acquittal in another federal tax fraud case dating back to 1997. He said his attorneys will file a motion to dismiss the charges in Louisiana on Wednesday.

Hoffman, the once high-flying master of foreign tax breaks, has had a bad year. Last June, he stepped down as CEO of Seven Arts Entertainment, although he remains its chief counsel and a member of its board of directors, and four months later, the company announced that it had lost more than $33 million over the previous two years on revenues of only $5.5 million.

Related: Seven Arts Entertainment Shares Stopped Trading As NASDAQ Plans To De-List

Eastern-District-of-LA-JPG-rgb-small_824x510On Friday, the company he founded saw the value of its stock plummet 15%. At the start of trading Friday, it was already one of the cheapest stocks on the NASDAQ exchange, going for just 1/5th of a penny per share – down from a high of $517.84 just two years ago. At Friday’s closing bell it got even cheaper, falling another 6.79% in afterhours trading. Anyone still holding onto the stocks from two years ago has essentially lost all of their investment, and Hoffman was one of the company’s largest shareholders.

Hoffman’s latest legal problems began in March of 2012 when the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Orleans slapped the company with a subpoena for the discovery of documents relating to Louisiana film infrastructure tax credits that Seven Arts had received to refurbish a dilapidated old mansion in New Orleans’ French Quarter and convert it into a modern post-production facility. Read More »

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