Wal-Mart, Bank of America bought film tax credits
State cannot recover the $4.7 million in lost tax revenue
State investigators today charged that a Cape Cod filmmaker fraudulently obtained $4.7 million in film tax credits over several years and then sold those credits to Wal-Mart and Bank of America, which used them to reduce the taxes they owe in Massachusetts.
Officials said the two companies had no knowledge of the alleged scheme by Daniel Adams to inflate expenses and forge documents so he would qualify for more tax credits. Adams pleaded not guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to 10 separate counts in connection with the alleged scheme. He was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail and, if he makes bail, ordered to wear a tracking device.Assistant Attorney General Margaret Parks said the state cannot recover the $4.7 million in lost tax revenue from Wal-Mart and Bank of America because Adams’s expenses had been certified as accurate by an independent accountant, whose name has not been disclosed. The state’s film tax credit law awards to filmmakers tax credits equal to 25 percent of whatever they spend in Massachusetts; the tax credits can be sold back to the state or to a third party.
The Adams indictment indicates the filmmaker’s scheme began to unravel when Revenue Department officials held up tax credits tied to the 2009 film when they noticed income withholding taxes on several actor salaries had not been paid to the state. State officials say Adams paid the taxes and then allegedly forged tax returns for three of the actors – Blythe Danner, Mary Willa Gummer, and Thomas Wisdom – seeking refunds. The refund requests asked that the money be sent to the same address, which prompted further investigation.