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Mother, daughters sentenced for BP fraud

PANAMA CITY – A mother and her two daughters will have to repay a total of almost $50,000 attained by filing fraudulent BP claims, according to federal court records.

Rebecca Louise Vickner and her two daughters, Kimberly Ann Whitman and Miranda Danielle Cobb, each were sentenced to five years of probation Wednesday in the U.S. Federal Court District of Northern Florida after entering pleas to the charges in connection with several counts of wire fraud following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The three allegedly filed false claims with the Gulf Coast Claims (GCC) facility that included fraudulent tax returns from a Panama City Beach-based company called TLC Providers, Inc. to receive a total of $47,752. TLC representatives could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

After the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion of April 2010 caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history, gushing an estimated 210 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico, BP was designated as the responsible party under the Oil Pollution Act. In the wake of the disaster that inadvertently damaged the economy and environment of some coastal area, BP was ordered to receive claims and repay losses.

Vickner, Whitman and Cobb took the opportunity to file false claims with BP and receive $47,752, according to federal court documents. Vickner assisted in filing five fraudulent BP claims for a total of $23,876, records indicated. She also was instrumental in Cobb claiming damages suffered by herself, and her own daughter, of $17,000. Vickner also helped Whitman file claims also in her’s and her own daughter’s name for $6,876, court records indicated.

Vickner was indicted on five counts of wire fraud while Whitman faced three counts and Cobb faced one count.

The woman pleaded guilty to the charges and a federal judge Wednesday morning ordered the three women repay the money. They were also sentenced to five years of probation in connection with the fraud scheme.

In related news, US: Man pleads guilty in oil spill fraud case.

This article was written by Zack Mcdonald from The News Herald, Panama City, Fla. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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