You are here

Justice News

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

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Empire Man Sentenced For Mail Fraud in Connection to Deepwater Horizon Compensation Fund

U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that TONY RILEY, age 49, of Empire, Louisiana, was sentenced today to six months of home detention and three years of probation by U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo for committing mail fraud in relation to the BP settlement fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.  Judge Milazzo also ordered RILEY to pay restitution in the amount of $166,261.16 to the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center.

According to court documents, RILEY submitted a claim for lost profits from his seafood business to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) and the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center (DHECC).  Initially, due to RILEY’S incomplete information, GCCF made a “Quick Pay” settlement offer of $25,000.00.  RILEY did not accept that offer and subsequently submitted additional records that included false information to the GCCF and DHECC.  In those records, RILEY inflated his income from his seafood business in 2009 in order to qualify for additional reimbursement from the settlement fund.  In March 2013, due to the fraudulent information that RILEY submitted, the DHECC sent RILEY checks worth a total settlement of $221,681.62. 

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier, who presided over the BP settlement litigation, already ordered RILEY’S attorneys to repay the portion of RILEY’S settlement that the attorneys retained as fees.  Those attorneys complied with Judge Barbier’s order, resulting in the total restitution amount of $166,261.16 that Judge Milazzo ordered RILEY to repay as part of his sentence.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Secret Service New Orleans Field Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Matthew R. Payne is in charge of prosecution.

Updated July 26, 2018