Seven people are being charged by federal prosecutors with fraud after allegedly charging more than $2 billion to set up a relief program for people affects by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
In an indictment unsealed Thursday, the Department of Justice alleged that the defendants submitted false claims on behalf of 40,000 individuals in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and other Gulf states without their consent. The agency also said the defendants stole victims’ identities, using their names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other personal information to create phony legal clients for litigation against BP stemming from the spill.
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