Gulf Coast Claims Facility

Judge: Websites are misleading oil spill claimants

Jul 19, 2012

A federal judge presiding over a proposed class-action settlement of BP oil spill claims says two websites can mislead visitors into believing they are filing official claims.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier on Thursday ordered the operator of the sites — and — to post disclaimers at the top of every page on the sites that they aren't the court-authorized site.

The site where residents can submit claims is

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.

The attorney handling damage claims from the BP oil spill is no longer in charge of deciding compensation. A federal court is taking over jurisdiction.