Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty in Oil Spill Fraud Case
A Louisiana man has pleaded guilty to submitting a fraudulent application for money from the $20 billion claims fund BP PLC established after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to the Associated Press. Nicholas Billiot of Houma, La., faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine following his guilty plea to one count of mail fraud. Federal prosecutors say the Gulf Coast Claims Facility issued $26,000 in checks to Billiot, who claimed he owned a company called Hope''s Home Improvement that lost business after the Deepwater Horizon rig blast triggered the massive spill. Prosecutors say the company never operated or conducted any business. His sentencing is set for Sept. 6.