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Press Release

Orleans Parish Couple Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud in Aftermath of the BP Oil Spill

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

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that LATASHA N. ANDERS, age 34, and ARNOLD WILLIAMS, age 33, both of New Orleans, were sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud relating to fraudulent applications they made or caused to be made to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) for financial assistance during the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman sentenced ANDERS to 5 years probation, with 12 months of home incarceration, and ordered restitution in the amount of $250,000. WILLIAMS was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution to the GCCF.

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.  ANDERS worked as a claims adjuster for the GCCF.  Beginning in or about October 2010, ANDERS submitted or caused to be submitted, via the internet, claim forms on behalf of her co-conspirators containing false representations and fraudulent documentation that they were employed in the commercial fishing industry at the time of the oil spill, when in fact they were not.  ANDERS shared in the claim proceeds in exchange for her assistance.  Based upon the fraudulent documentation, ANDERS obtained $250,000 in claim proceeds to which she and her co-conspirators were not entitled.

Additionally, ANDERS conspired with WILLIAMS to file a false claim for loss earnings on his behalf, when in fact he did not work in the commercial fishing industry.  Based upon the fraudulent claim, WILLIAMS received $50,000 to which he was not entitled. Both ANDERS and WILLIAMS admitted to purchasing a home for $110,000 with the illegal proceeds they received from the fraudulent claims.

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, 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. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Secret Service in investigating this matter.  Assistant U. S. Attorney Julia K. Evans was in charge of this prosecution.

Updated November 4, 2015

Financial Fraud