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Justice News

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

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Grand Isle Man Pleads Guilty To Mail Fraud In Connection With GCCF Claim

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that RONNIE P. VEDROS, 52, of Grand Isle, pled guilty today to one count of mail fraud.

According to court documents, VEDROS’s charges stem from an application he submitted to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) in the aftermath of the explosion and oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.  VEDROS claimed to have lost earnings as a commercial fisherman and engineer as a result of the oil spill and provided documentation to prove his loss.  In reality, as set forth in the factual basis, VEDROS was neither a commercial fisherman nor employed as an engineer at the time of the disaster and the documentation submitted had been falsified.  As a result of VEDROS’s false application, he received approximately $30,173.56 in funds from the GCCF he was not entitled to.

VEDROS faces a maximum penalty of twenty years imprisonment, up to three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment.  U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk scheduled sentencing for March 12, 2015.

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 disaster@leo.gov or in writing to National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the U.S. Secret Service in investigating this case.  Assistant U. S. Attorney Matt Chester is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated December 4, 2014