Man Accused of Defrauding Spill Victims' Fund

May 15, 2012

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a 41-year-old businessman who moved to New Orleans from Georgia after the catastrophic BP oil spill in 2010 has been charged with defrauding a compensation fund set up for victims.

The Justice Department says Dwayne Smith was charged last week on one count of mail fraud.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten alleges Smith moved to New Orleans four months after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and set up a business called D&D Designs.

Smith is accused of getting $100,000 from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility that he was not owed. He allegedly submitted false tax returns and business documents for 2007, 2008, 2009 and the first part of 2010.

He faces 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and giving back $100,000 to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.