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Press Release

New Orleans Man Sentenced for Defrauding Gulf Coast Claims Facility

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that MICHAEL CUTRER, age 39, of New Orleans, was sentenced after previously pleading guilty to a one count Bill of Information charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud relating to a fraudulent application he made to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) for financial assistance in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon sentenced CUTRER to three years probation and ordered payment of $15,000 in restitution to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust.

According to court documents, the GCCF made disaster assistance money available to individuals and businesses affected by the oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon explosion.  The GCCF required individuals to verify loss of income.  On November 4, 2010, the GCCF received CUTRER’s online claim form seeking an emergency 6-month payment in the amount of $10,000, wherein CUTRER falsely stated he lost earnings as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Documentation in support of CUTRER’s claim included copies of fraudulent earning statements indicating that prior to the oil spill, CUTRER had worked at Country Inn & Suites, when, in fact, he was never so employed. As a result of these false representations and documentation contained in the claim, the GCCF paid CUTRER approximately $15,000.00.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Loan A. "Mimi" Nguyen.

Updated November 6, 2015

Financial Fraud