Des Allemands Man Sentenced for Fraud in Aftermath of BP Oil Spill
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana announced that DERRICK JOSEPH DURAN, age 28, a resident of Des Allemands, was sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to a three-count mail fraud Indictment.
U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo sentenced DURAN to serve four years on probation and ordered restitution in the amount of $28,018.52.
According to court documents, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) made disaster assistance money available to individuals and businesses affected by the oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon explosion that occurred on April 20, 2010. The GCCF required individuals to verify loss of income. On August 25, 2010, DURAN submitted a fraudulent application to the GCCF claiming that he worked as a deckhand on a fishing vessel during the year 2010, before the oil spill. Documentation in support of DURAN’s claim included a falsified letter from a commercial fisherman indicating that DURAN had worked as a deckhand on his fishing vessel for a twelve month period before the spill, when in fact he had not. Based on DURAN’s fraudulent application, the GCCF mailed checks totaling $28,018.52 to DURAN to which he was not entitled.
This case was brought as part of this District’s partnership with the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), a nationwide initiative to protect available funds and assistance for those victims of both natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and the recent Gulf oil spill. If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, you can contact the NCDF by either calling the hotline at (866) 720-5721, faxing (225) 334-4707, emailing at email@example.com or in writing to National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Spiro G. Latsis was in charge of the prosecution.