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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Former Mayoral And Congressional CandidateGuilty Of Mail Fraud In Scheme To Defraud The BP Oil Spill Fund

A former candidate for mayor of Detroit and for Congress was convicted on August 5, 2013, of three counts of mail fraud, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

Duane Montgomery, Jr., age 46, of Livonia, Michigan was found guilty by a federal jury in Detroit after a trial before the Honorable Stephen J. Murphy, III, United States District Judge.  

At the trial beginning July 16, 2013, the jury heard evidence that Montgomery submitted a series of false claims to British Petroleum (“BP”), the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (funded by BP), and the National Pollution Fund Center, administered by the United States Coast Guard, all seeking compensation for purported damages to a boat he claimed to have been operating in the Gulf of Mexico at the time of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The claims centered around his assertion that tar balls resulting from the oil spill destroyed his engines while he was engaged in pollution monitoring for the corporation he owned, Engineering Technological Researchers, Inc., and that the company lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue as a result.  Specifically, the defendant’s last claim to the National Pollution Fund Center sought $861,512, which was denied.  Earlier, however, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility issued an emergency interim payment to the defendant in the amount of $43,900.      

United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said, “This defendant’s scheme to defraud targeted private and public funds designated for the victims of the worst ecological disaster in this country’s history.  We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute such crimes to protect the funds intended for those in need.”  

McQuade commended the United States Secret Service Detroit Field Office and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General for the investigation leading to this successful prosecution.

After the verdict, the Court revoked the defendant’s bond.  He will remain in custody awaiting sentencing at a time to be set by the Court.  

Updated March 19, 2015