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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

U.S. Secret Service Makes Multiple Arrests In Scheme To Defraud The BP Oil Spill Compensation Fund

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of indictments charging 27 individuals with participating in a scheme to defraud the compensation fund established as a result of the BP oil spill in 2010. Twenty-six indictments charge a single count of mail fraud, while one indictment charges Justin Kelly (33, Jacksonville) with five counts of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. 

If convicted of mail fraud, each individual faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. In the case of Justin Kelly, he faces an additional mandatory two-year term of imprisonment, which must be served consecutive to any sentence imposed for mail fraud. The indictments also notify the defendants that the United States will be seeking forfeiture money judgments for sums representing the amount of proceeds fraudulently received as a result of the charged criminal conduct.

According to the indictments, following the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig (which was being leased by BP – formerly known as British Petroleum), the defendants misrepresented that they were employees of businesses that had been affected by the oil spill. They then filed lost income claims with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, an independent facility established to review and pay qualified claimants, whom BP had agreed to compensate. The indictments allege that as part of the scheme to defraud, the defendants would mail documents in support of their fraudulent claims, resulting in funds being dispersed by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. In the case of Justin Kelly, the indictment further alleges that he unlawfully used the identification of others to submit multiple claims.

The chart below reflects the individuals charged, along with the forfeiture money judgments being sought:

DEFENDANT

AGE

RESIDENCE

MONEY JUDGMENT SOUGHT

Justin Kelly

33

Jacksonville

$157,255.26

32

Jacksonville

$54,129.06

Lamar Anderson

35

Jacksonville

$26,319.92

Dwight Barber, Jr.

28

Lawtey

$44,694.08

Reggie Bates

46

Jacksonville

$38,765.58

Jameshia Bowes

44

Jacksonville

$44,206.48

Michael Bowes

27

Jacksonville

$26,830.76

Andrew Byers

35

Jacksonville

$20,851.18

Jacinto Dor

36

Jacksonville

$38,342.60

Tiffini Dor

33

Jacksonville

$44,680.40

Vincent Green

45

Jacksonville

$74,238.96

Angela Kelly

60

Jacksonville

$51,858.26

Bobby Kelly, Sr.

59

Jacksonville

$27,509.51

Anita McCorvey*

35

Pascagoula, Mississippi

$37,782.08

Arlesia McRae

43

Jacksonville

$36,886.58

Nigel Mills

32

Jacksonville

$16,117.98

Charlotte Montgomery*

58

Jacksonville

$18,578.59

Cory Morton*

27

Charlotte, North Carolina

$31,448.83

Robert Owens III

29

St. Johns

$40,062.47

Terrell Reynolds

35

Jacksonville

$11,925.94

Cheryl Richardson*

54

Jacksonville

$33,315.84

Ricky Riley, Jr.*

27

Jacksonville

$17,853.12

Veronica Robinson

32

Jacksonville

$19,722.74

Emmit Wade, Jr.

33

Jacksonville

$17,623.46

Matthew Walker

34

Jacksonville

$76,636.12

Jarrett Williams*

24

Jacksonville

$26,792.50

Louis Wordlaw

31

Atlantic Beach

$51,198.60

*individuals not in custody

$1,085,626.90

“The indictment of these 27 individuals is yet another example of how the Secret Service continues to successfully identify and combat fraudulent schemes,” said Lee Fields, Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service Jacksonville Field Office. “The Secret Service utilized state-of-the-art investigative techniques to dismantle this criminal network which will result in significant positive impact to both the local and area wide communities. Our success in this case and other similar investigations is a result of extraordinary work of our investigators and our close work with our network of law enforcement partners.”

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

These cases were investigated by the United States Secret Service. The following agencies provided significant assistance in executing the arrests of the above-named individuals: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the United States Marshals Service, the United States Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. The cases will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diidri Robinson.

Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
Jarrod Allen*
Updated January 26, 2015