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Tom Young
Tom Young
Attorney • (813) 251-9706

Is BP’s Oil Spill Fraud Hotline Fraudulent?

8 comments

Yesterday BP announced the creation of a company-controlled toll-free number it says is dedicated to rooting out fraud in the Court-Supervised Deepwater Horizon Claims Process. By dialing 855-NO-2-FRAUD whistleblowers can report perceived bad actors to BP’s private police force.

While all parties agree that the filing of false claims based on cooked or doctored books should be identified and dealt with harshly, that is not the real goal behind BP’s new phone number. BP’s true intent is to frighten otherwise legitimate claimants out of filing claims they are rightfully entitled to pursue under the settlement agreement formulas developed by BP, agreed to by BP, and attested to under oath by BP.

If anyone’s ethics should be questioned it should be BP’s. The company helped design a specific architecture which residents and business owners of the Gulf were to govern themselves by when making claims for damages after BP’s unprecedented Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Now BP has decided that it no longer cares for the compensation formulas it developed, and the company hints in no uncertain terms that those making claims based on such formulas are committing fraud. It is a shameful attempt to manipulate the court of public opinion when the court of law has found that BP has no right to change the rules midway through the game.

Nowhere in BP’s “public service announcements” about their private fraud hotline did the company mention that there is already a toll-free number dedicated to this very purpose. The Gulf Coast Disaster Fraud Hotline has been in operation for months and is overseen by a truly legitimate and neutral third party – The Honorable Carl Barbier, Federal District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana who presides over the settlement program.

The Gulf Coast Disaster Fraud Hotline can be reached by dialing 877-623-3423. While the official court operated fraud hotline does not have the slick (pardon the pun) vanity number secured by BP’s public relations gurus, it is nevertheless the number whistleblowers should call when they suspect true fraud in the claims process.

The fact that BP created its own private vanity number when the Court already had such a hotline in place is indicative of the utter lack of respect this company has for our judicial system. It is an implicit indictment of the character of Judge Barbier, Claims Administrator Juneau and all of the legitimate business owners along the Gulf Coast who are living by the rules as BP wrote them.

8 Comments

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  1. Moosa says:
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    The litigious American leaches are going to suck BP for every last drop of blood they can get out of the company. This is a free season for BP Claims and every Tom, Dick and Harry living as far as a 1000 miles from the Gulf is claiming damages.
    Obviously BP is extremely concerned about this day light robbery. This Fraudline is just a small step that is not going to achieve anything. BP needs to take this matter to court and assess every legitimate claim and pay out appropriate damages. But right now the leaches have a blank cheque book with BP footing the bill!

  2. Tom Young says:
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    Moosa – Thank you for joining the conversation.

    I believe you are mistaken about the “Fraudline,” as you put it, “not achieving anything.” BP made a financial commitment to the residents and businesses of the Gulf. They put pen to paper and signed a document spelling out exactly how one qualifies for payment. They will use this “Fraudline” to intimidate those who were affected by the spill, thus reducing the number of claimants and likely saving billions.

  3. Jerry Fallsworth says:
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    The Separate Fraud hotline was probably set up as an alternative to calling the ‘court’ hotline. Seems like the court has its own issues. Did you notice that a former FBI Director has been hired to investigate fraud on the part of court appointed attorneys in the claims payment process? In fact two of the three most senior attorneys have already been fired or stepped down due to fraud allegations against them. Hmmmmm. Wonder why BP decided to have their own fraud reporting hotline? By the way, did you forget to mention to readers of this article that you’re an attorney that is fishing for people who want to sue BP and that your website says something like…There is no requirement to prove the April 20, 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill caused your loss. You can sue anyway. Wow, you seem to be a fraud all by yourself.

  4. Tom Young says:
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    Welcome to the discussion Jerry. Let’s keep it civil please.

    1. Do I really need to mention that I am an attorney involved with the BP claims process? Is that not obvious from my profile?

    2. Those employees have been dismissed and both sides applaud former FBI Director Freeh’s involvement.

    3. You trust a private hotline operated by a convicted corporate felon, on probation for three prior disasters at the time of the blowout, which has been suspended from doing business with the US government for a lack of corporate integrity, and has pled guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter, and lying to Congress?

    4. Please show me where my law firm’s “website says something like…There is no requirement to prove the April 20, 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill caused your loss. You can sue anyway.”

    In fact, here is exactly what our website says:

    “There is no requirement to conventionally prove that the April 20, 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill caused your loss. The system was intentionally created this way, as precisely allocating the cause of a business downturn would be nearly impossible given the general economic malaise of the period. Instead, an objective revenue test is used to establish causation. If your revenue trends follow certain prescribed patterns, then all losses are presumed to be caused by the spill.”

    And here is what BP’s own expert says in that regard:

    “Once a business meets the causation requirements, all revenue and variable profit declines during the claimant-selected compensation period are presumed to be caused by the spill.” – Holly Sharp, BP’s Expert

    THAT is the proof I am referring to.

  5. Moosa says:
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    So Sharp (Holly) did not realise that we are in a recession and Business Revenues are going down as a result!!?
    The bottom line is BP is going to pay until it can take this issue back into court and get a more appropriate formula in place to pay ‘REAL’ damages.
    In the meanwhile the leaches keep sucking helped by ‘Attorneys’ like you!

  6. Adam Kielich says:
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    Lots of class exhibited by BP’s defenders.

  7. Moosa says:
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    Is that an official response from The Kielich Law Firm?