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22 Jul 2014

Amanda Bronstad, National Law Journal (USA)

USA: Judge orders company claimant & law firm to return settlement payments from BP over Deepwater Horizon oil spill

"BP Claimant, Attorneys, Ordered to Return Settlement Cash", 21 Jul 2014 [Subscription required]

A New Orleans law firm at the center of an investigation into misconduct surrounding the processing of payments from BP PLC's Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement must return $357,000 paid to a client based on allegedly fraudulent claims. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ordered that shrimper Casey Thonn return the payments within 30 days. Barbier also found that the AndryLerner firm, which received $35,700 in fees, and principals Jonathan Andry and Glen Lerner were responsible for the restitution. The judgment also applied to Lionel “Tiger” Sutton, an attorney who received fees for referring Thonn to AndryLerner, as well as Thonn’s accounting firm. Attorneys for Andry, Lerner and Sutton did not respond to requests for comment...BP, which continues to assert in court filings that fraud has tainted its estimated $9.2 billion settlement, praised the judgment—the first to order the return of an oil spill claim payment...All four have denied allegations of fraud...