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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Friday, March 13, 2015

Port Orange Man Charged In Scheme To Defraud Oil Spill Compensation Fund

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the return of an indictment charging Robert Lee Craddock (54, Port Orange) with wire fraud arising out of a scheme to defraud the compensation fund established as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Craddock that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $135,153, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.

According to the indictment, following the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig (which was being leased by BP, formerly known as British Petroleum), Craddock submitted a claim to BP and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (“GCCF”), an independent facility established by BP to compensate qualified claimants, for lost earnings purportedly related to the impact of the oil spill on his businesses. As part of the scheme, Craddock crafted fictitious invoices to support the amount of lost earnings that he claimed. The fraudulent scheme resulted in BP and GCCF transmitting a total of $135,153 to Craddock.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless,  and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Embry J. Kidd.

Updated March 13, 2015