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Plot To Defraud BP For Helicopter Use Lands LA Man In Prison

Fraudulently Billed The Oil Company For Use Of Helicopter

The owner of a Louisiana oil spill remediation company will spend 18 months in prison for fraudulently billing BP for the use of a helicopter following the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Bay Ingram had owned Southeast Recovery Group. According to court documents, he inflated invoices submitted to BP for the use of a helicopter operated by the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries following the spill, and then used forged and falsified documents to justify the invoices. He also was accused of invoicing BP over $300,000 for building five helipads that actually cost about $110,000, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The 50-year-old businessman had faced five years in prison after pleading guilty to the conspiracy charge last year. Along with the 18 month sentence, U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance ordered him to pay over $463,000 in restitution to BP and Rotorcraft Leasing Company, which provided the helicopter and crew to Southeast Recovery Group. The incident is reported to have put the helicopter company in jeopardy of closing.

At his sentencing, Ingram told the judge that he is a "law-abiding citizen." and that he took full responsibility for his actions. "What ever you decide, I'll accept. And I'll do it with grace, and I'll do it with character," he said.

He has reportedly already made full restitution to both Rotorcraft Leasing and BP.

FMI: www.laed.uscourts.gov

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