BP files fraud suit to cut oil spill seafood fund payout

BP Plc (LSE:BP.) filed a fraud lawsuit in U.S. court on Tuesday to halt some of the $2.3 billion it set aside to compensate commercial fishermen for losses claimed after the British oil company’s 2010 offshore oil spill, the biggest in U.S. history. The latest court action by BP seeking to reduce payments from the spill alleges that part of a group of fishermen hurt by the spill, clients of lawyer Mikal C. Watts, did not exist. “We now know that over half of Watts’ alleged clients were phantoms: individuals never represented by Watts, in a number of cases not even commercial fishermen, and in some instances individuals who are deceased,” BP said in its court filing. BP said about $1 billion has already been paid out from the its so-called Seafood Compensation Fund, including payments to eight people represented by Watts.

    

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