Mail and Wire Fraud
More indicted for filing false oil spill claims
Two people from Baldwin County and one from Mississippi were among five indicted this week by the federal government on charges of filing fraudulent oil spill claims.
Travis Sigler of Loxley is accused of requesting $13,000 through the claims process from BP PLC, which owned the rig that exploded in April and leaked oil into the Gulf of Mexico for months.
According to Sigler’s filing, he would have received the money working at two restaurants on the Alabama coast, Camille’s and Willie’s. But investigators said that he worked as a cook at Camille’s for only three days before being fired.
Also, he submitted fabricated check stubs in his claims request that overstated his actual pay, according to the government.
Maria Wright of Gulf Shores is accused of receiving about $2,800 in checks from false claims and for filing another claim for $20,000 for wages lost at The Beach Club in Gulf Shores. She allegedly submitted a forged “Notice of Layoff” letter from The Beach Club on stationery unlike what the condominium complex uses.
Dennis Moore of Jackson, Miss. — who also goes by the name Marlon Bruce — reported losses of $90,000 from a fictitious business, D&D Crawfish and Shrimp, according to the government.
Investigators say that Moore submitted a false tax identification number in his claims request, as well as false sales tax returns, business permit papers, federal tax returns and sales receipts.
Also indicted this week, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice, were:
— Cam T. Hang of Louisiana for filing a claim for $42,000 on behalf of C.H. Food Mart Inc., a seafood restaurant, which investigators say did not lose that money.
— Sergio Corona of Texas for filing a claim for $28,434, asserting that he had lost income on behalf of his business, Sea Shell Jewelry and Collectibles. He allegedly submitted false receipts and invoices in support of his claim.
The five people — and two others indicted last week, one from Michigan and the other from North Carolina — are charged with mail and wire fraud.
Kevin Perkins, assistant director of the FBI, said his agency is “committed to seeking out and prosecuting individuals who commit fraud to obtain compensation intended for those who suffered losses as a result of the spill.”
Anyone who has information about possible fraud related to the oil spill is asked to call the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at: 1-877-NCDF-GCF. Tips can also be faxed to: 225-334-4707 or emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Criminal activity can also be reported to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.