Port Sulphur Oysterman Charged in $300,000 B.P. Fraud
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana announced that STEVE COLLINS TURNER, SR., age 73, of Port Sulphur, was charged Friday with mail fraud in connection with a false claim of $300,000 related to the BP Oil Spill.
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. According to the Bill of Information, TURNER applied for an Emergency Advance Payment seeking $300,000 in damages for lost money because of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster by submitting false documentation. TURNER submitted false documents regarding oyster buying businesses showing he sold oysters to the businesses when he really did not.
If convicted, TURNER faces a possible maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. Additionally, TURNER may be ordered to pay restitution.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office reiterated that a Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office praised the work of the Special Agents of the U.S. Secret Service in investigating this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carter K. D. Guice, Jr. is in charge of the prosecution.