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Justice News

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

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Former Mayoral And Congressional Candidate Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison In BP Oil Fraud Scheme

A 46-year-old Livonia man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison on three counts of mail fraud, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today. 

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Jeffrey Frost, Special Agent in Charge of Secret Service, Detroit Field Office.

U.S. District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III, imposed sentence on Duane Montgomery, who ran for Mayor of Detroit in 2009, and for a congressional seat in 2010.  Montgomery was convicted by a federal jury in Detroit on August 5, 2013.   

At the trial, which began on July 16, 2013, the jury heard evidence that Montgomery submitted a series of false claims to British Petroleum, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (funded by BP), and the National Pollution Fund Center, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, seeking compensation for purported damages to a boat he claimed to have been operating in the Gulf of Mexico at the time of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The claims centered around his assertion that tar balls resulting from the oil spill destroyed his engines while he was engaged in pollution monitoring for the corporation he owned, Engineering Technological Researchers, Inc., and that the company lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue as a result. Montgomery’s last claim to the National Pollution Fund Center sought more than $2.5 million for denying his previous claims of $861,512.   Before Montgomery’s final claim, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility had issued an emergency interim payment to the him in the amount of $43,900.

In imposing sentence, the judge cited Montgomery’s long history of using the judicial system as a tool of harassment, his prior criminal history, his ownership and possession of various weapons, including body armor and silencers, even after a prior felony conviction, and his elaborate and nearly constant evasion of the truth, not only to the various funds from which he sought money, but also to the Court and jury throughout the prosecution of this case.

United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said, “This defendant’s scheme to defraud sought to exploit private and public funds designated for the victims of the worst ecological disaster in our nation’s history.”

McQuade commended the United States Secret Service Detroit Field Office and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General for the investigation leading to this successful prosecution.

The defendant has been incarcerated since the Court revoked his bond after the jury’s guilty verdict in August of 2013.   

Updated March 19, 2015