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Coast man gets 12-plus years in prison for fraudulent oil spill claims

GULFPORT ­ A Gulfport man, identified as the mastermind of a family scheme to illegally obtain about $100,000 in oil spill recovery money, has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.

The Sun Herald reports U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden sentenced 50-year-old Bobby Earl Keys to 12½ years in prison for claiming lost wages as a result of the Gulf oil spill from a seafood business that doesn’t exist.

John Dowdy, criminal division chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Keys used another person’s name for the bogus business to create fake paperwork for himself and five relatives that was submitted with claims involving the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

As of last Tuesday’s sentencing, officials say at least $98,298 was illegally obtained.

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