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BP claims increased in 2 weeks; some cry 'fraud'

BILOXI/GULFPORT  — The Sun Herald reports that claims submitted for losses related to the BP oil disaster have increased dramatically over the past two weeks, adding to concerns about fraud.

Washington attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing claims payments Gulfwide, said in an interview Friday with the Sun Herald that 160,000 claims have been submitted – roughly half of them in the past two weeks. He believes word has gotten out that his Gulf Coast Claims Facility is delivering on its promise to pay BP claims.

“The volume is frankly unexpected and welcomed, but there are a huge number of claims with no documentation – none – or woefully inadequate documentation,” Feinberg said. “And now, what I’m hearing, the legitimate claimants are worried that their legitimate claim will be delayed, or reduced in amount, because of what they perceive to be a flood of illegitimate claims.

Feinberg also said his office and the U.S. Justice Department are receiving more reports of fraud from Gulf residents.

Feinberg had promised to pay documented individual claims within 48 hours and documented business claims within seven days. He later conceded the claims were not being paid that quickly.

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