Freeh: Some corruption in BP settlement program

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Associated Press

Posted on September 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 7 at 4:02 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An independent probe by former FBI director Louis Freeh has concluded that several private plaintiffs' attorneys worked together to corrupt a settlement process designed to compensate victims of BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Freeh issued a report Friday that cleared court-appointed claims administrator Patrick Juneau of any wrongdoing, but it found that private attorneys used a lawyer on Juneau's staff to expedite a claim for nearly $8 million. In return, that staff attorney received more than $40,000 in fees after referring a claimant to their private law firm.

While the report points to certain conduct within the program as problematic, Freeh didn't find any reason that would stop the settlement program from "fairly and efficiently processing and paying" legitimate claims in a timely manner.

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