Port Orange Man Pleads Guilty To Scheme To Defraud Oil Spill Compensation Fund
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Robert Lee Craddock (54, Port Orange) pleaded guilty today to wire fraud arising out of a scheme to defraud the compensation fund established as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. As part of the plea agreement, Craddock will forfeit the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct as a money judgment in the amount of $117,700. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, 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 $117,700 to Craddock.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Embry J. Kidd.