3 Face Federal Charges for Oil Spill Fraud

February 15, 2012

Officials say three Florida Panhandle residents face federal charges for filing fraudulent claims related to the Gulf Coast oil spill.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Pensacola announced indictments Monday against 38-year-old Robert Thayer, 39-year-old Jennifer J. Lee and 26-year-old Gabrielle Sawyer.

Shortly after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, BP set up a $20 billion trust fund to repay losses to individuals and businesses.

Thayer’s indictment says he filed a loss-of-work claim for a pool-cleaning job at Destin West Resort he was actually fired from for misconduct.

Lee’s indictment says she forged a letter from her employer, South Bay Ace Hardware & Lumber Company, claiming lost earnings.

Sawyer’s indictment says she filed a loss-of-work claim for a job she had voluntarily quit.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the suspects had attorneys.

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