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Filmmaker Pleads Guilty In Iowa Tax Credit Scandal

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Minnesota filmmaker charged with theft for allegedly mishandling tax incentives to lure movie makers to Iowa has pleaded guilty.

Matthias Saunders, of Minneapolis, pleaded guilty earlier this week to first-degree theft, a charge that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The Des Moines Register is reporting that Saunders agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their case against another filmmaker and the former director of the Iowa Film Office.

His plea means two of the three filmmakers charged in the case have agreed to cooperate with the Iowa attorney general’s office. Charges against Zachary LeBeau were dropped last month in exchange for his cooperation and testimony.

Trial for the third filmmaker, Wendy Runge, of St. Louis Park, Minn., is scheduled for Jan.10.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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