But a Homestead businessman saw the April 2010 oil rig explosion and subsequent environmental disaster as an opportunity to cash in, authorities say. Jean Mari Lindor filed about $15 million in BP damage claims for himself and others for wages purportedly lost due to the spill's economic hit on the region's tourism and fishing industry.
Lindor submitted as many as 700 suspicious claims, mostly for low-income workers who each paid him a processing fee of $300, a prosecutor said in federal court last week. As a result, Lindor and the other South Florida claimants were paid about $3 million from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which was established by BP after the protracted Deepwater Horizon spill.
Lindor, arrested earlier this month, is among nearly 110 people nationwide who have been charged with defrauding the BP oil-spill fund program over the past two years, according to the Department of Justice. The majority of the offenders have been charged in Alabama.
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