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Editor’s Note: The following is an opinion piece by attorney Joe Rice, chief architect of the BP Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Class Action Settlement.

By Joseph F. Rice

BP has created a ticker for its State of The Gulf website entitled “Fraud Tally for Gulf Oil Spill Claims.” This ticker is visible on the home page of the website, which I believe was created by its aggressive and defensive PR machine to skirt paying the people of the Gulf for their grievances related to the 2010 disaster.

I have reviewed the data and am shocked at the lack of candor by BP. For BP to suggest that there are 132 reported fraud cases and 119 criminal convictions without making it perfectly clear that at least 90%, maybe even 100%, of these reported fraud cases and criminal prosecutions result from payments by the BP-operated Gulf Coast Claims Center, is unbelievable.

It mixes this fraud tally in with all of its complaints about the Deepwater Horizon Claims Settlement Office. The implication, by not disclosing that these were mostly fraud claims for payments made under the Gulf Coast Claims Center, which was operated by Mr. Feinberg under BP’s supervision, (the court found that BP was directly involved with the GCCF), is just an attempt to confuse and mislead.

I do not know why I am at all surprised because, in my opinion, most of BP’s advertisements and public statements are intended to be half-truths, confusing and misleading.

All of these details aside, where’s the tally for lives lost, humans and wildlife harmed and careers destroyed? These numbers continue to grow daily. That’s the real State of the Gulf.

I’ve said it many times, BP is a convicted felon and it’s time for BP to accept its responsibilities, do what’s right, do what it agreed to do and allow the Gulf to heal. Real people are still, four years later, suffering greatly. BP, it’s time you take a look in the mirror.

Several media outlets have questioned BP’s claims to date. Read more:

Feb. 23, 2014 – Los Angeles Times, BP gets slick in trying to undermine gulf oil spill settlement

Jan. 10, 2014 – Tampa Bay Times, Editorial: Don’t let BP back out on deal

Dec. 20, 2013 – Times-Picayune, BP attack on Emeril Lagasse was off base: Editorial

You might also be interested in another blog by Joe about the BP oil spill, Just when you think you have seen it all.


  1. Gravatar for Athena Coroneos

    What a bunch or crock. How do you say emotional blackmail. Still wealthy when the common folk who lost their livelihood from generations have been wiped out. Oh yes let's mention the environmental damage for decades wrecking havoc with all the animal species completely destroyed. Hmmmm. Feeling bad for way. Greed begets greed.

  2. Gravatar for Joe Pa

    You said it Joe. I lost my business due to the oil spill. My family pays the price every day! I have been dragged through the claims process , approved then appealed and now left in a "black hole" while the courts rule if what I was subjected to was how it was supposed to be. I had more order in my 4th grade history class......????

  3. Gravatar for Bill Deutschlander
    Bill Deutschlander

    This is typical of the large oil conglomerates and large companies in general. They agree to settlement terms, then spend the next 20 years refusing to honor the settlement terms they agreed to.

    These greedy large companies are organized fraud, the Republicans maintain they are people, sleazy at best.

  4. Bill - Here's one Republican who is taking BP on:

  5. Gravatar for Tortlawguy

    Not only has BP corrupted the claims process with an aggressive and misleading PR campaign. They have bought off 5th Circuit judges as well.

    James Gill: Judge Clement makes friends with Big Oil

  6. Tortlawguy - While that relationship is troubling, I think we should reserve judgement until a final order issues from the Clement Panel, or the other 5th Circuit Panel resolves the causation matter.

    Let's hope our appellate judges are not so easily influenced.

  7. Gravatar for What fraud

    One person or another has been effected by this disaster in the gulf region. BP does not have enough money to pay what they really owe. They have master mind a great farce here and you really have to hand it to them. Their 3 card monty game has worked beautifully. Please tell me where any other person or company because of their negligence kill 11 people and pay their way out of it., And they want to put a person in jail for faud please this is a joke. This whole settlement was a shell game Bp is going to save so much money with all their distractions, diversions, whinning and crying. If you really dug deep and really found the truth in who this has affected it would make you cry. There are people who have no idea what is going on in this litigation making comments and have no idea. What people don't realize is that bp bought whatever little fraud is going on they could not stand a trial it would have bankrupted them. They knew what they were getting when they set up the GCCF and now crying fraud on lawyers and people. Someone needs to hold their feet to the fire but unfortunately it won't happen

  8. Gravatar for Bob R

    You want fraud, why don't you bring up the fact, that in the ONE audit of the BP payout sham run by Kenneth Feinberg, TEN THOUSAND people were hosed by his group? He NOT allowing any small entities, to appeal, as it was his rules, as he made them up? Put that one in the news, and back out in BP's slimy face, will you now?

  9. Gravatar for Bob R

    Here you go, time to bring up these TEN THOUSAND cases of FRAUD, perpetuated by the process BP EMPLOYEE Feinberg was running for his bosses....

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