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  • buffetmunger buffetmunger May 3, 2013 5:37 PM Flag

    A Kenner man has admitted in federal court that he conspired with a Gulf Coast Claims Facility insider to collect about $20,000 in fraudulent relief money after the 2010 BP oil disaster.

     

    A Kenner man has admitted in federal court that he conspired with a Gulf Coast Claims Facility insider to collect about $20,000 in fraudulent relief money after the 2010 BP oil disaster.

    Pierre Wilbourn, 40, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to commit mail fraud against the claims center. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is scheduled to sentence him Aug. 8. Maximum penalties are rare in federal court for first-time offenders.

    Wilbourn applied Oct. 4, 2010, for disaster assistance funds, representing that he was operating a commercial fishing business in Venice before the oil spill. He was actually a concrete worker, not a commercial fisher, prosecutors said. Still, he received about $60,000, according to court records.

    He told investigators he pulled the scam with a claims center employee identified in court records by the initials C.E. The worker told him "he would have to give C.E. 60 to 66% of the oil spill money Pierre Wilbourn received as a result of C.E. having a fraudulent claim filed on defendant's behalf."

    Wilbourn kept $20,000 of the money he received and gave C.E. $40,000, according to court records. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in New Orleans would not say what prosecutors are doing about C.E.

    The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Secret Service. The prosecutor is Assistant U. S. Attorney Julia Evans.

    This topic is deleted.
 
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