Judge Barbier's ruling addressed the civil side of the picture. It will be interesting to see if any criminal charges follow. I think Special Master Freeh's report had suggested that prosecutors should look into it.
I'm sure there are many more fraudulent claims by greedy business owners and BP should demand review of all suspicious claims. This is outright theft and those committing it should do jail time in addition to paying back the money. No money should be paid to anyone who cannot prove a legitimate loss due to the spill. This is outrageous.,
Why is it that "greedy" is a bad word when used by a claimant given legal rights to compensation, but when it's a corporation, greed/profit is greeted as the only thing that matters.
Anyway, I agree fully with the fraud investigations. Any claimant who violates the terms of the settlement or the law, should be punished, even prosecuted if appropriate.
And any company that violates the law, statutes, settlement agreement it creates, ought also be held accountable. It's the fair and right thing to do. Something we need to sometimes remind others of in the era of false mass marketing.
What's new is the ruling, not the charge. Special Master Freeh "uncovered" this particular situation months ago, and it was referenced in his highly publicized report. After he filed a motion seeking restitution, briefs were submitted by all concerned, and Judge Barbier issued the "clawback" order as requested, without even holding a hearing. It will be interesting to see whether any prosecutor pursues criminal charges.