Court orders return of $1.6 million in claim money
NEW ORLEANS - A federal court has ordered repayment of more than $1.6 million in claim money paid to an Alabama couple's business after BP's 2010 Gulf Oil Spill.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's order says the payment to Vision Design Management "was nearly entirely based on fraud."
The ruling issued this week identifies Barbara J. Stokes and Scott B. Stokes as the owners of the corporation. Barbier's order grants a March 2015 motion for return of the money filed by the oil spill claims administrator, Patrick Juneau, and a court appointed master overseeing the claim process, Louis Freeh.
Barbara Stokes declined immediate comment when reached by telephone Thursday. In a letter to the court last year, she denied wrongdoing and said she and her husband don't have money for restitution.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
One dead in drive-by shooting north of Denham Springs
Chemical leak in Ascnesion Parish prompts evacuations
Grace period for flood victim utility disconnections will soon end
State shuts down driving school that left students out in the cold
Family homeless since flood starts fire in abandoned house