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Seafood company, lawyers must return $1 million in spill money

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the return of more than $1 million in settlement money granted to a seafood company after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier (BAHR’-bee-aye) ruled Tuesday that Crystal Seafood Company defrauded administrators of a BP settlement fund by claiming to be an ongoing Port-Arthur, Texas-based business affected by the storm.

Court documents say the company actually stopped processing shrimp in 2009 — months before the April 2010 explosion and spill. The order calls for the return of more than $1 million by the company and its owners Victor and Christopher Tran — including up to $258,527 awarded to lawyers for the company.

Related: ‘Hard choices’ in Texas as oil bust, costly lawsuits collide.

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