A South Florida woman was sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday for filing a fraudulent Deepwater Horizon spill claim.

The Department of Justice said Caridad Rioseco Alejandrez, 50 of Key West, was sentenced to 48 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release for her involvement in filing a false claim.

Alejandrez had previously pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud.

Alejandrez’s father, Raul Rioseco, 73 of Stock Island, was sentenced on April 12 to one year and a day in prison in connection with his involvement in a similar false claim.

Rioseco was also ordered to serve six months of house arrest and a three-year term of supervised release.

According to the DOJ, Alejandrez received $35,900 from the Gulf Coat Claims Facility (GCCF) and Rioseco received $55,000 after filing fraudulent claims in their own names.

The DOJ said that pair provided “materially false and fraudulent” documents to support claims that they were both adversely affected by the 2010 spill and lost income in the months following the incident.

Alejandrez also provided false documentation to support other claims filed by “many other individuals,” the DOJ said.

The agency said that records show an actual loss tied to fraudulent claims Alejandrez helped file reached $500,000, and that the amounts claimed, although not all paid, approached $1.5 million.

The agency said that Rioseco told the GCCF that he was commercial fisherman when the false claims were filed, although he had retired and had not been an active fisherman for “many years.”

Rioseco also admitted to helping facilitate other false claims for at least five other individuals.

The DOJ said that those fraudulent claims collected $89,000 for economic losses that never occurred.

Rioseco was ordered to pay just over $144,000 in restitution to the Deepwater Horizon Fund for the money he unlawfully received from the Gulf Coat Claims Facility (GCCF) and the amounts received by other, unnamed individuals based on fraudulent documents he provided.

Rioseco was also ordered to surrender all his permits and licenses associated with commercial fishing activities to both the State of Florida and the federal government.

Rioseco had previously pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, the DOJ said.


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