×

Thai Official Receives 50-Year Jail Sentence for Bangkok Festival Corruption

Juthamas Siriwan, the Thai official who took bribes from the U.S. organizers of the now-defunct Bangkok International Film Festival, has been sentenced to 50 years in jail for corruption.

Siriwan was found guilty by the National Anti-Corruption Commission on Friday under abnormal wealth charges. Her trial took place today at the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases.

Her daughter Jittisopa was also found guilty and received a 44-year sentence. The pair are also required to repay the $1.81 million (THB62 million) that the court said they had taken in kickbacks from U.S. film makers Gerald Green (“Rescue Dawn”) and his wife Patricia.

Siriwan was governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and financier of the festival. The Greens paid her in order to obtain and retain the festival management contract between 2003 and 2006.

In 2009, the Greens were found guilty in a Los Angeles court of breaching the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for American citizens to bribe foreign officials. In 2010 they were sentenced to six months of home detention and required to pay $250,000 of restitution.

At the Greens trial, the FBI presented large amounts of evidence including photocopies of checks showing that the Greens had paid money to Siriwan and her daughter in accounts in the U.K., Jersey and Singapore. Prosecutors said the Greens attempted to conceal their bribery using different business entities, some with dummy business addresses and phone numbers. The contracts they secured were worth more than $13.5 million.

The high profile nature of the case and the convictions of the Greens in the U.S. made the allegations against Siriwan hard to ignore. But for a long period it was not clear that Thai authorities would take the matter to trial. Thailand’s Department of Special Investigations first began probing Siriwan and the festival in early 2008. She was formally charged by the NACC in November 2015.

More Film

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

  • Ridley Scott Matt Damon Ben Affleck

    Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener Team on 'The Last Duel'

    Ridley Scott looks to have his next directing job, as he has signed on to direct “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attached to star. Damon and Affleck co-wrote the script with Oscar-nominated Nicole Holofcener. Scott, Damon and Affleck all producing along with Scott’s producing partner Kevin Walsh. Drew Vinton is also [...]

  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas Ed Asner Elliott

    Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould Seek SAG-AFTRA Board Seats

    Ed Asner, Elliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor Comic Con

    Comic-Con: Marvel 'Shock and Awe' Strategy Dominates Twitter Buzz

    Disney’s Marvel Studios handily won the hype trophy from this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego. Marvel Studios — which returned to the 2019 Comic-Con stage with a chock-full Phase 4 slate of announcements — dominated the discussion on Twitter out of the convention, capturing the biggest volume of buzz for nine of the top 10 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content