Man pleads not guilty to fraud on oil-spill recovery claim
GULFPORT, Miss. - A man has pleaded not guilty to charges involving fraud in a $172,800 oil-spill recovery claim in 2010.
The Sun Herald reported Saturday that 39-year-old Leonard Charles Thomas said he didn't receive the money by claiming he lost work as a deckhand after the BP oil spill. Trial is expected to start May 15 in U.S. District Court.
Thomas was denied bond Feb. 22 after his arrest on a three-count indictment filed in 2015.
The indictment states Thomas falsely claimed he was a deckhand and an oyster and shrimp fisherman on a boat known as the Strike and Mississippi Strike in Pass Christian when the oil spill occurred.
Thomas has been paroled on two drug convictions in 2012. He was arrested Feb. 12 on traffic violations when parole warrants showed up on a background check.