Fire at the Deepwater Horizon rig. Image courtesy of United States Coast Guard/Wikimedia Commons.

Over 100 people have been jailed for fraudulent Deepwater Horizon spill claims, according to data collected by the Financial Times.

The paper said that a Freedom of Information Act request made to the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that 311 people have been convicted of defrauding the BP Gulf Coast Claims Facility as of September 2016.

Of those convicted, 102 were given jail time with seven of those sentences being long than five years, the Financial Times found.

BP has not commented on the report.

According to court orders issued last year and seen by the Financial Times, about 1,000 cases related to attempts to defraud the claims facility were still active.

The April 2010 well blowout at the Deepwater Horizon rig caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history and killed 11 people.

BP reached an agreement in June 2010 to establish a multi-billion fund to satisfy liabilities tied to the spill including natural resource damages and state and local response costs.

In 2015, BP reached a $20.8 billion civil settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and five Gulf states on to resolve civil claims tied to the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident.

The agreement marked the largest civil penalty in the history of environmental law.

The number of people convicted for attempting to defraud has grown since the period covered by the Financial Times data.

Last month, two people were convicted by a Mississippi federal judge of  carrying out a conspiracy to defraud numerous victims from multiple states and the BP Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

Thi Houng Le, 34 from Pascagoula, was sentenced to seven years in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Gregory P. Warren, 52, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

That sentence was handed down just two weeks after a federal judge in Florida ordered Caridad Rioseco Alejandrez to pay over $600,000 for her role in filing false Deepwater Horizon claims.

Alejandrez, 51, previously pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in connection to the case and was sentenced to four years in prison and three years of supervised release

Some of the fraud convictions have even involved people who worked to administrative the claims funds.

In June 2015, a claims adjuster for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility in Louisiana pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge in connection with an attempt to defraud the fund.

According to the Louisiana Record, Charlie English III pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge tied to false documentation he submitted to support a claim that his income was impacted by the spill.

The fraudulent claim allowed English to obtain $257,400 from the fund.


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