Canadian producer was implicated in Bank scam
MONTREAL — The U.S. Attorney’s Office in California has dismissed all bank fraud charges against Canuck film producer Gary Howsam, former CEO of film company Peace Arch Entertainment.
Howsam was arrested in November 2007 following a U.S. federal investigation into his transactions with Comerica Bank.
The charges were dropped late last week after Howsam and his Santa Monica-based attorney Donald Randolph persuaded prosecutors that lead witness, Harel Goldstein, was not telling the truth.
The charges related to fraudulent bank deals arranged by Goldstein when he was international sales agent for films produced in 1999 and 2000 by Howsam, then CEO of Greenlight Film and Television, before he joined Peace Arch.
Goldstein implicated Howsam in an attempt to cut a plea deal with the government to reduce his sentence. Goldstein is awaiting sentencing.
“It’s a big emotional moment,” Howsam told Daily Variety. “It feels great and it’s a bit of a shock to the system, as much as it was when I was charged in the first place. I’m coming to terms with the idea that now I can get back to my life. It’s been very tough. You work at building up a reputation and then, boom! In one day, it’s over.”
Howsam has already quietly returned to film production. He co-produced “Cell 213” last year and is one of the producers on the upcoming “Casino Jack,” starring Kevin Spacey.
Howsam, who stood down as Peace Arch CEO after he was arrested, still owns a minority interest in the company.