A Minnesota woman will spend a decade in prison for her role in the Iowa Film Office tax credit scandal. Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for Iowa’s Attorney General, says the sentences were handed out Tuesday in Polk County District Court.
Forty-six-year-old Wendy Weinder was sentenced to 10 years on a felony charge of fraudulent practice in the first degree. Thirty-nine-year-old Mattias Saunders of Minnesota was given a ten year suspended prison sentence after he pleaded guilty in November to first-degree theft.
Saunders cooperated with the state in the Runge investigation. Twenty-six-year-old Chase Brandau of Minnesota received a deferred judgment after pleading guilty in January to second degree theft. Greenwood says this closes the crimminal cases involving the company called Polynation Pictures.
He says there are still a series of civil lawsuits pending that seek to recover money from tax credits. Greenwood says four other criminal cases are pending.
Greenwood says those cases include Tom Wheeler, the former head of the film office. Wheeler was was fired after reports surfaced that the tax credits were improperly used. The state alleged film producers falsely represented the costs of equipment and other items used for film production to be able to collect the film tax credits.