BP Claims Fund Fights Fraud

When $20 billion is up for grabs, you can’t always count on an honor system. Kenneth Feinberg, who oversees the claims process for victims of the BP oil spill, has noted some “very, very suspicious” requests recently. For example, one businessman who made $50,000 last year claimed he was due to receive the whole $20 billion fund. A restaurant owner who cited loss of business from the spill had actually shuttered his establishment before the incident. So far, about 31,000 claims have been filed with insufficient documentation, and an additional 1,000 are too fishy to pay out. “The American people have to understand that this underground economy down there is real,” Feinberg said of the fraud attempts. On the other hand, more than 45,000 legitimate claims valued at $824 million have been paid out since late August.