A 33-year-old LaPlace man pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to his work as a claims adjuster for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, a predecessor to the BP oil spill settlement program.
According to court filings, Charlie English III provided fraudulent documentation to unnamed co-conspirators sometime around September 2010.
They then submitted false claims showing lost earnings from phony jobs in the commercial fishing industry that they claimed to have held before the April 20, 2010, oil spill, when in fact they did not work in the industry, court records show.
English told investigators that he was paid $30,000 for the claims he processed for his co-conspirators. The claimants were paid about $257,400 based on the fraudulent documentation.
English faces a potential sentence of up to five years in jail, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. He is slated to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan in March.
The claims facility was headed by lawyer Kenneth Feinberg. It paid out $6.1 billion to more than 221,000 claimants.