Feds: Port Orange man indicted in scheme to defraud oil spill compensation fund

Robert Lee Craddock of Port Orange/Daytona Beach Shores, FL indicted by feds in BP Oil scheme / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
Robert Lee Craddock, 54, is free on bail and awaiting trial in US District Court in Orlando. If convicted of wire frad, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.
 

ORLANDO, Fla. – A federal grand jury has handed up an indictment charging 54-year-old Robert Lee Craddock of Port Orange with wire fraud arising out of a scheme to defraud the compensation fund established as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

If convicted, Craddock, who also may have a residence in Daytona Beach Shores, faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Craddock that the Office of US Attorney A Lee Bentley, III, is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $135,153, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.

According to the indictment, following the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which was being leased by BP, formerly known as British Petroleum, Craddock submitted a claim to BP and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, an independent facility established by BP to compensate qualified claimants, for lost earnings purportedly related to the impact of the oil spill on his businesses. 

The feds also charge that as part of the scheme, Craddock "crafted fictitious invoices" to support the amount of lost earnings that he claimed. The fraudulent scheme resulted in BP and GCCF transmitting a total of $135,153 to Craddock.

According to the indictment, following the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which was being leased by BP, formerly known as British Petroleum, Craddock submitted a claim to BP and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, an independent facility established by BP to compensate qualified claimants, for lost earnings purportedly related to the impact of the oil spill on his businesses. 

The feds also charge that as part of the scheme, Craddock "crafted fictitious invoices" to support the amount of lost earnings that he claimed. The fraudulent scheme resulted in BP and GCCF transmitting a total of $135,153 to Craddock.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the US Secret Service. It will be prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Embry J. Kidd, Bentley's office announced.

Craddock surrendered to U.S. Marshals and is free on bail, awaiting trial.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.