Two Charged over False BP Claims
Two men have been indicted for fraud-related offenses in claims against BP after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Marque Amason (49) and William Soong (27), both of Fort Myers Beach, Florida, were charged. Amason is charged with one count of wire fraud, and Soong is charged with one count of mail fraud. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
According to the indictment, Soong submitted a claim to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement fund seeking payment for damages he allegedly sustained as a boat captain. However, Soong was not, and had not been, a boat captain and was not entitled to the payment that he sought and received.
According to a second indictment, Amason submitted a claim to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement fund seeking payment for damages he allegedly received as a boat captain. To support his claim for damages, he falsely and fraudulently claimed that he had been a shrimp boat captain during a particular time period. However, Amason was actually incarcerated during a portion of that same time period.
In June last year, Charlie English III pleaded guilty to fraud worth $257,400. English (33) helped claimants submit false statements regarding lost earnings for non-existent fishing companies. In return, he received some of the compensation money paid.
At the time, the BP-operated website, The State of the Gulf, reported that 264 cases of fraud worth $26,859,283 have been reported resulting in 187 convictions.