• Prominent plaintiff attorney backs BP’s bid to remove Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau

    As the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments concerning BP’s attempt to remove Deepwater Horizon Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau, prominent plaintiffs’ attorney Daniel Becnel says he backs the oil giant’s position.

    Over the past 45 years Becnel has built a thriving plaintiffs’ firm in rural St. John the Baptist Parish and has never been hesitant to go after large corporations with deep pockets. But when it comes to the Deepwater Horizon class action – Becnel was the first to file suit – he says the case has become a “money grab” for all involved. That includes Juneau who, in his position as Claims Administrator, is being paid $3.5 million annually to oversee the settlement process.

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  • D'Iberville man sentenced for oil spill fraud conspiracy

    GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A 34-year-old D'Iberville man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

    U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden this week also ordered Jason Richard Woodcock to pay $105,383 in restitution to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility and $17,092 to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

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  • Andy Lerner law firm faces $221K clawback, pulls representation from other Deepwater Horizon claims

    NEW ORLEANS – A New Orleans law firm that has a growing list of clients who based their BP Deepwater Horizon claims on false tax returns is facing yet another fee clawback, according to court records.

    The Andry Lerner law firm, whose principals Jon Andry and Glen Lerner are facing potential federal court sanctions related to a separate Deepwater Horizon suit, are being asked to return fees related to the claim of Tony Riley, a Plaquemines Parish boat captain who received a $221,000 settlement payment from the oil giant. Special Master Louis Freeh, in court filings this week, accused Riley of doctoring IRS forms to support his claim. He has asked District Judge Carl Barbier to order return of the payment and for Andry Lerner to return the $54,000 in fees it made from the claim.

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  • Lawyer who filed initial lawsuit against BP over Deepwater Horizon oil spill says settlement irreparably broken

    NEW ORLEANS – Daniel Becnel is a longtime attorney working out of his offices in sleepy St. John the Baptist Parish, a rural suburb of New Orleans, where he has over the past 45 years built a thriving plaintiffs’ firm that has increasingly been involved in class action lawsuits, most notably the Deepwater Horizon oil spill class action which he now considers to be deeply flawed.

    The self-proclaimed “King of Torts” has been a representative in several notable class actions including the Tobacco Master Settlement in 1998 that saw tobacco companies pay $365 million to a class of smokers. He also has been involved in the ongoing Chinese drywall class action, in which New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is one of his clients. Becnel also leads cases against Toyota over the alleged sudden acceleration of certain vehicles.

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  • New Orleans Woman Sentenced For Conspiracy To Commit Wire Fraud In Aftermath Of BP Oil Spill

    U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that TANEHA D. SUMMERS, age 38, of New Orleans, was sentenced today for her role in a conspiracy to defraud the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (“GCCF”) in the aftermath of the BP oil spill.

    U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle sentenced SUMMERS to five years’ probation and $95,847.19 in restitution to the GCCF.

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  • McGladrey whistleblower reports investigation underway; Partner in charge of Deepwater Horizon audit asked to stay away from headquarters

    NEW ORLEANS – A whistleblower who accused McGladrey LLP of conflicts of interest, shoddy work and overbilling in connection with an audit of the BP Deepwater Horizon settlement facility says the firm has hired a criminal defense lawyer and asked the partner who oversaw the audit to stay out of the office.

    Following the publication of the allegations of a whistleblower who filed an internal ethics complaint against McGladrey, the auditing firm appears to have begun an investigation into the matter.

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  • New Orleans Woman Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud

    U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that KWANZA WELLS, age 34, a resident of New Orleans, was sentenced today for conspiring to defraud the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF).

    U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey sentenced WELLS to three years’ probation, 72 hours of community service, $19,500 in restitution to the Deepwater Horizon Oilfield Trust, and $100 special assessment.

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  • McGladrey whistleblower claims Deepwater Horizon audit deeply flawed

    NEW ORLEANS – A whistleblower who says he worked on the independent audit of the Deepwater Horizon claims facility completed by accounting firm McGladrey LLP has made allegations that the settlement process is far more dysfunctional and susceptible to fraud than reported in the publicly released audit.

    The whistleblower, who appears to have filed an anonymous internal ethics complaint in the matter, said the audit entered into the court record in the Deepwater Horizon case in November has very little acceptable data to back up its assertion that damage claims are being paid accurately and to the appropriate people.

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  • Improper solicitation of nearly 10,000 BP claims at issues in federal breach of contract lawsuit

    A trio of Gulf Coast businessmen, one of whom is in jail, are suing two Texas attorneys who they claim failed to pay them $7.9 million for directing BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill claimants to their law firm.

    The plaintiffs, Scott Walker, Steve Seymour and Kirk Ladner, filed suit against attorneys Jimmy Williamson and Michael Pohl in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on Oct. 8.

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  • BP Report: $50 Billion Invested in U.S. Since 2009

    BP's business activities in the U.S. helped generate close to $143 billion in economic impact in 2013 and supported nearly 220,000 American jobs, the company's U.S. Economic Impact Report 2014 revealed.

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