LANSING, MI – August 3, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Mike Cox today announced the filing of a charge against Joseph Peters, 46, of Ada on one count of attempted felony false pretenses over $20,000. The charge comes as a result of an ongoing investigation into a questionable Michigan Film Tax credit application Peters filed with the Michigan Film Office.
“With Michigan taxpayers already dealing with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, it is a kick in the gut when someone tries to defraud them,” said Cox.
Under state law, Michigan offers a 25% tax credit for investments in film production infrastructure. It is alleged that Peters applied to the Michigan Film Office for the infrastructure tax credit, claiming his company, West Michigan Film, purchased a large film production studio, known as Hangar42, for $40 million dollars. The investigation conducted by Attorney General Special Agents has revealed that no such transaction transferring this property ever took place.
In addition, the stated $40 million dollar purchase price was approximately four times the listing price of the property just a few months before the purported purchase. Under the 25% tax credit program, Peters sought to obtain a $10 million dollar tax credit from the State based on the supposed $40 million purchase. The credit application was ultimately denied when Peters could not properly document the alleged investment.
The charges were filed in the 61st District Court in Kent County and carry a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in prison. Arrangements to have Peters arraigned are under way. The investigation remains ongoing.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
John Sellek or Joy Yearout 517-373-8060