Report: Man charged with bilking Saints players, coaches

A failed film studio executive has been charged with federal charges in a scheme to bilk New Orleans Saints players and coaches of money.

Wayne Read of Wonder Lake, Ill., was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of interstate transportation of stolen funds after getting some 15 current and former members of the Saints organization to invest nearly $2 million that they were told would be used for purchasing state movie industry tax credits, according to the Associated Press.

Louisiana’s film tax credit program is used to promote the making of films in thye state. Purchasers of tax credits get a reduction in the amount of income taxes they pay. They can be bought and sold, but Read was allegedly swindling the men, including quarterback Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton along with former Saints great Archie Manning.

Read led them to believe the money invested would return $1.33 on the dollar. What’s the old saying? When it sounds too good to be true, well, most of the time it is. They paid Louisiana Film Studios, which Read headed up, in 2008. The company never applied for the credits.

"Read used the stolen proceeds of the sale to pay off his personal debts in another state, to include the prevention of a sheriff's sale on his personal residence and as satisfaction of a local judgment," the bill of information said, according to the Associated Press.

Read faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted and a fine of $250,000 on the wire fraud charge. The other charge could lead to 10 years behind bars and a fine of the same amount.

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