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Press Release

Gautier Man Pleads Guilty To Oil Spill Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi

Gulfport, Miss. – Joseph Anthony Clements, 51, of Gautier, pled guilty to three counts of mail fraud in connection with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis.

Clements admitted that he carried out a scheme to defraud the BP Gulf Coast Claims Facility by making a false claim for damages as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Clements claimed he lost earnings and profits from his commercial shrimp and fishing business and shrimping vessel when, in fact, Clements was not a commercial shrimper and suffered no lost earning or profits as a result of the oil spill.

As a result of his fraudulent claim, Clements received an emergency advance payment of $36,300.00 of the $273.000.00 claim he sought from the oil spill Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

Clements will be sentenced on Thursday, January 30, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. by U. S. District Judge Sul Ozerden. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of mail fraud. This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Jones.

This case was brought as part of this District’s partnership with the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), a nationwide initiative to protect available funds and assistance for those victims of both natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and the recent Gulf oil spill. If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, you can contact the NCDF by either calling the hotline at (866) 720-5721, faxing (225) 334-4707, emailing at or in writing to National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909.


If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at:

(866) 720-5721

You can also fax information to:

(225) 334-4707

or e-mail it to:

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Updated January 7, 2015