DES MOINES, Iowa — A Nebraska filmmaker accused of faking a purchase agreement to get Iowa state tax credits has been convicted of first-degree fraud.
A Polk County jury convicted Dennis Brouse on Friday. The 64-year-old Brouse faces up to 10 years in prison when he's sentenced on March 23, The Des Moines Register reported (http://dmreg.co/1CXFQe5 ).
It was the second trial for Brouse, of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, after the Iowa Court of Appeals in April overturned his 2012 felony fraud conviction, citing confusing jury instructions. The original jury acquitted Brouse on charges of first-degree theft and ongoing criminal conduct.
Brouse owned Changing Horses Productions, a company that received $9 million in tax credits from the scandal-ridden Iowa Film Office. Brouse starred in the company's main series, "Saddle Up With Dennis Brouse."
Brouse's company received millions from a scandal-tainted tax program meant to build Iowa's film industry. Prosecutors alleged that Brouse, who made public television programs about horse training, overvalued the expenses that were submitted.
Prosecutors accused Brouse of buying a 38-foot camper trailer from an elderly Iowa couple for $10,500 in cash, but claimed the trailer cost twice that much in a statement for tax credits that he turned in to the state.
Brouse's attorney, Angela Campbell, said she'll appeal the jury's verdict after the March sentencing hearing.
Iowa's film program was shut down in 2009 after an audit showed millions of dollars were awarded improperly. Brouse's company received credits totaling $9 million before the program was ended.
Brouse remains free on bond until his sentencing.
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com