Categorized | Product Safety

BP settlement program official finds no evidence of fraud

The AP (8/27, Kunzelman) reports from New Orleans that the head of security for the administrator of BP’s multibillion-dollar settlement with Gulf Coast residents and businesses “says an internal probe of alleged misconduct by an employee of a Mobile, Ala., claims center hasn’t turned up any evidence of fraud.” BP “said it received a tip in July that someone who worked at the Mobile office helped people submit fraudulent claims in exchange for some of the settlement money,” but David Welker, “a former FBI supervisor who now works for court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau, said in a letter dated Aug. 22 that his investigation found no evidence of fraud in any of the claims handled by the employee.”

The New Orleans Times-Picayune (8/27, Schleifstein, 670K) reports that Welker “said a probe didn’t find evidence supporting an allegation that BP received through a fraud hotline,” and noted that “one of the employees in question actually referred 32 claimants suspected of fraud, ‘leading to the detection of a significant multi-claimant scheme.’” Welker’s letter “was made public Sunday night, in documents filed by attorneys representing private claimants in the settlement with BP. The attorneys are opposing a BP request to halt claim payment until an independent investigation of the claims process is completed by former FBI Director Louis

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