Insider Michael Corso’s 38 Studios Deposition and Exhibits
Friday, September 25, 2015
movie tax credits -- all taxpayer sponsored programs. His success in part was fueled by his close relationship with Gordon Fox, the former Speaker of the House and now an inmate in federal prison.
While Corso made millions on historic tax credits and was paid hundreds of thousands by 38 Studios for activities related to securing the $75 million in loan guarantees, Corso had tapped the Rhode Island state coffers for millions more in movie tax credits. As GoLocal reported in 2012;
The Providence lawyer who pledged more than $14 million in Rhode Island motion picture tax credits that had not actually been issued as collateral in order to obtain an $8.5 million loan for Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios is now playing a behind-the-scenes role in a Michael Corrente movie that is slated to receive $625,000 in state tax credits," GoLocalProv has learned.
Here are the 38 Studios Documents on Corso:
Corso Exhibit #125 Corso and Zaccagnino emails from 2009
Corso Exhibit #126 Corso email includes valuation documents on 38 Studios - date July, 2009
Corso Exhibit 127 List of NDA agreements signed
Corso Exhibit 128 Corso one-pager about 38 Studios, October 2009
Corso Exhibit 129 Email outlining February 2010 of RI staffing
Corso Exhibit 130 Email from Zaccagnino and Fox, March 2010
Corso Exhibit 131 Email from Schilling, cc:ing Fox and Zaccagnino, March 17, 2010
Corso Exhibit 132 Corso tells Stokes, all future communications should go through him
Corso, Exhibit 133 Projo reporter, see GoLocal story
Corso, Exhibit 134 Draft agreement between EDC and 38 Studios, March 25, 2010
Corso, Exhibit 135 498 Kinsley as a potential location for the company
Corso, Exhibit 136 Revised draft of agreement and draft legislation, April 1, 2010
Corso, Exhibit 137 Setting up calls with Wells Fargo, April 7, 2010
Corso, Exhibit 138 Stolzman and Corso
Corso, Exhibit 139 Due diligence memo, March 31, 2010
Corso, Exhibit 140 Wells Fargo needs to get approved
Corso, Exhibit 141 Corso, Saul and Stolzman
Corso, Exhibit 142 Draft commnets for press conference, July 2010
Corso, Exhibit 143 Ownership schedule of 38 Studios
Corso, Exhibit 144 Payment to Orb - $250,000, Michael Corso
Corso, Exhibit 145 Payment to Corso for closing, $409,340.
Related Slideshow: INVESTIGATION: Fox, Corso and 38 Studios
The Early Years
Fox was emerging as a powerful leader in the House via his role on the Finance Committee and later as Finance Committee Chair. Corso served on the management team at developer's Buff Chace's Cornish Associates.
The two worked together to write and pass the Historic Tax Credit Legislation.
Bio attached from the early 2000's - Cornish Assoicates Website.
Insiders Had Hands All Over Schilling’s 38 Studios Deal
The owner of the construction company that was awarded a contract to work on the interior of 38 Studios’ downtown headquarters has close ties to House leadership and other prominent local politicians, GoLocalProv has learned.
Steven Nappa, who owns Nappa Construction Management, has contributed over $16,000 over the last decade to top politicians including House Speaker Gordon Fox, Congressman and former Providence Mayor David Cicilline, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, former House Speaker William Murphy and former House Finance chairman Steven Costantino. In June 2011, Nappa also contributed $1,000 to the Fund for Democratic Priorities, a political action committee maintained by House leadership.
Nappa is also connected with Michael Corso, a Providence lawyer who has made a fortune helping to sell state tax credits and was involved in the earliest meetings between Schilling and Rhode Island officials. The two hosted a private fundraiser at the Peerless Lofts for then-Majority Leader Fox in 2007. Nappa also helped build the movie screen located in the open space next to Tazza, the downtown café owned by Corso.
Corso himself has contributed $11,625 to Fox, Cicilline, Taveras, Murphy and other local politicians in recent years.
Movie Tax Credits
Corso and Movie Tax Credits
The Providence lawyer who pledged more than $14 million in Rhode Island motion picture tax credits that had not actually been issued as collateral in order to obtain an $8.5 million loan for Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios is now playing a behind-the-scenes role in a Michael Corrente movie that is slated to receive $625,000 in state tax credits, GoLocalProv has learned.
Michael Corso, a top tax credit broker whose loan agreement with BankRI is among several 38 Studios-related matters currently being investigated by state and federal authorities, is one of seven producers for “Backmask,” a horror film currently being shot in Exeter, according to IMDB. Corso’s business partner, Anthony Gudas, is listed as the executive producer and former State Rep. John Loughlin has a small role in the film.
On Monday, the Rhode Island Film and TV Office confirmed the film has received an “Initial Certification Letter” for the tax credits. Corso did not respond to a request for comment.
Questions Surround Speaker Fox’s Relationship with 38 Studios Insider
Several weeks after initial inquiries from GoLocalProv, House Speaker Gordon Fox still isn’t answering questions about a 2007 fundraiser held for him by the lawyer who would play a pivotal role in bringing Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios to Rhode Island three years later.
In March 2007, Michael Corso, Steven Nappa and Robert Britto of Nappa Building Corp. and former State Representative Ray Rickman were listed as the hosts of a private fundraiser held in the Peerless Lofts for the then-Majority Leader. The event, which helped Fox rake in approximately $10,000, was catered by Tazza, the downtown café owned by Corso.
But while Fox’s campaign finance reports from the time include details about several other fundraising events held during the first quarter of 2007, there is no information listed about expenses incurred for the Corso-hosted event, which may constitute a campaign finance violation.
“Speaker Fox has been extremely busy entering the final two weeks of the session, but he will soon be checking the campaign records from five years ago,” Fox spokesman Larry Berman told GoLocalProv on June 4. “If corrections are necessary to the report, he will make them.”
Fox and Corso
38 Studios Insiders Have Been Connected Since May 2009
The lawyer at the center of the deal that brought Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios to Rhode Island had a business relationship with a top executive at the video game company a year before a piece of legislation that expanded the EDC’s Job Creation Guaranty Program was pushed rapidly through the General Assembly.
On May 29, 2009, Michael Corso, a top tax credit broker whose relationship with House Speaker Gordon Fox helped steer 38 Studios to the Ocean State, struck a deal to purchase credits handed out for the multi-million dollar Stone House hotel project in Little Compton from the Round Pond Management Corporation, whose President was Tom Zaccagnino.
By June of that year, Zaccagnino, who was also the co-managing director at the Wellesley Advisors Corporation in Maynard, MA, had become Vice Chairman and Lead Director of 38 Studios. A month later, Haymarket Capital, an LLC with the same address as the Wellesley Advisors Corporation, was involved with the seven-figure bridge loan a group of Rhode Island investors provided to 38 Studios.
In March of 2010, Zaccagnino and Schilling met with Speaker Fox and former EDC director Keith Stokes in Corso’s downtown law office. By May, the General Assembly had expanded the EDC’s loan guarantee fund from $50 million to $125 million, the exact amount the EDC awarded to 38 Studios later that summer.
38 Studios Contractor Ordered to Install Equipment in Fox’s Crony’s Bar
- INVESTIGATION: Fox, Corso and 38 Studios
- LISTEN: Fox, Corso and 38 Studios
- Chippendale Requests Corso, Esten for Hearing on 38 Studios
- Fox Doesn’t Know Corso: Galasso
- TIMELINE: Fox and Corso
- Corrente’s Connections to 38 Studios Lawyer Corso
- Chippendale Blasts Criminal Investigation of Corso and 38 Studios
- LISTEN: Chippendale Blasts Criminal Investigation of Corso and 38 Studios
- The History of Gordon Fox: From Camp St. to Speaker to Prison
- Rhode Island College Seeks to Rescind Gordon Fox’s Honorary Degree
- Jencunas: The Gordon Fox Saga - An Opportunity For Republicans
- Russell Moore: Fox a Symptom, Not Cause of RI Corruption
- Fox Goes to Jail: Political Experts on Rhode Island Impact
- Where Has Kilmartin Been on 38 Studios, Corso, and Doyle?
- EXCLUSIVE: Teverow Subpoenaed by Feds in Speaker Fox Investigation
- Fox Investigation: Teverows Gave Nearly $40,000 in Political Donations
- BREAKING: Fox Expected to Face Charges in Court Today
- NEW: Speaker Mattiello, Mayor Elorza “Disappointed” in Fox Felony Charges
- NEW: Fox to Serve Three Years in Federal Prison
- The Shop Brings Artisan Coffee + Pastries to Providence’s Fox Point
- NEW: Campagna Lands at FOX25; Another Big Media Change
- 38 Studios Contractor Ordered to Install Equipment in Fox’s Crony’s Bar
- See the Fox Charges - Wire Fraud, Bribery, and Filing False Tax Return
- GoLocalTV: Former RI House Speaker Fox Sentenced to 3 Years in Federal Prison
- NEW: RI General Assembly Subpoenas Withdrawn in 38 Studios Case
- NEW: RWU Moving into Former 38 Studios Offices in Providence
- Guest MINDSETTER™ Dr. Mazze - New PawSox Stadium v. 38 Studios Lessons Unlearned
- Frank Williams Appointed Mediator in 38 Studios Lawsuit
- NEW: Mollis Questions McKee’s 38 Studios Connections
- NEW: McKee Launches Online Petition for Investigation into 38 Studios
- Bill to Stop 38 Studios Bond Repayment Gets Surprise Hearing
- NEW: Fung Demands Full Investigation of 38 Studios
- Michael Riley: 38 Studios Insider Trade and Municipal Fraud
- NEW: Block Urges Voters to Watch How Legislators Vote on 38 Studios
- Raimondo Using Same Consultant for Truck Toll Plan that RI is Suing for 38 Studios
- 38 Studios Settlement Reached for $12.5 Million with Adler Pollock, Stokes, and Saul
- Moore: RI’s 38 Studios Economy Breeds Unfairness
- Judge Turns Down Wells Fargo’s Request for 38 Studios Redactions
- The Players in the 38 Studios Saga
- NEW: Government Reform Groups Call For Formal 38 Studios Investigation
- Speaker Mattiello Pleased With 38 Studios Ruling
- 38 Studios Documents to be Unsealed
- Tens of Thousands of 38 Studios Documents Being Catalogued for Release
- Rupert Murdoch to Step Down as CEO of 21st Century Fox
- Fox Fallout: Corruption, Ethics, and the Future of Politics in RI