Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Fraud lawsuit filed against compensation claims

Readers in Louisiana may be interested in this story about BP Plc, the company behind the large 2010 offshore oil spill, because the company is claiming that fraud is taking place with respect to its funds that have been put back to pay for the catastrophe. The British oil company has filed a fraud lawsuit in a U.S. court seeking to reduce payouts.

According to the news from Dec. 17, the company is claiming that a group of fishermen who have claimed to have been hurt by the spill actually don't exist. The company claims that over half of one lawyer's clients do not exist; BP also believes that some of the names given were that of deceased individuals. So far, the company has paid out about $1 billion in compensation from its Seafood Compensation Fund, and eight of those payments went to the allegedly fraudulent lawyer's clients.

The Seafood Compensation Fund allegedly has only $1.3 billion left in it, and BP is asking to halt payments while it investigates. According to the news, the company wants to look into allegations of fraud and to potentially recover funds that were not supposed to go to the ghost-like individuals.

Additionally, the lawyer in question apparently filed around 648 individual crew claims; of them, only eight have been found to have been eligible, and 17 are pending, according to the company's records. BP filed this complaint in the U.S. court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, which is already completing another case related to this one.

Fraud is a very serious crime, and if you've been accused, you might want to look into your legal options. There are steps you can take to prevent your reputation from being soiled.

Source: Huffington Post, "BP Files Fraud Lawsuit Over Seafood Fund Payouts; Seeks To Halt Payments" No author given, Dec. 17, 2013

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