Two Indicted For Making False Claims To The BP Oil Spill Settlement Fund
Fort Myers, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III the return of indictments charging Marque Amason (49) and William Soong (27, both of Fort Myers Beach, with fraud-related offenses in connection with their submission of false claims to British Petroleum (“BP”) Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement fund. Amason is charged with one count of wire fraud, and Soong is charged with one count of mail fraud. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
According to the indictment, Soong submitted a claim to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement fund seeking payment for damages he allegedly had sustained as a boat captain. However, Soong was not, and had not been, a boat captain and was not entitled to the payment that he sought and received.
According to a second indictment, Amason submitted a claim to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement fund seeking payment for damages he allegedly had received as a boat captain. To support his claim for damages, he falsely and fraudulently claimed that he had been a shrimp boat captain during a particular time period. However, Amason was actually incarcerated during a portion of that same time period.
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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David G. Lazarus and Sara Sweeney.