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Potential scams top 7,000 in BP spill compensation

By BRIAN SKOLOFF and HARRY R. WEBER Associated Press

January 27, 2011

The administrator of a $20 billion fund responsible for compensating victims of BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill says he has received more than 7,000 potentially fraudulent claims.

Attorney Kenneth Feinberg told a Senate panel in Washington on Thursday that 7,575 claims have been deemed to be scams by multiple parties or attempted fraud. That's about 1.5 percent of more than 481,000 claims filed.

Many of the potentially fraudulent claims have been referred to the Justice Department for criminal investigations. The agency has already indicted eight people.

The fund was set up to handle thousands of claims for compensation from residents, business owners and fisherman who can prove they suffered financial losses from BP PLC's April 20 oil well blowout.

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Associated Press Writer Dina Cappiello contributed to this report from Washington. Skoloff reported from Ocean Springs, Miss.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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