Last family member in oil spill fraud scheme sentenced

GULFPORT — The final defendant in a family’s scheme to defraud the government of oil spill recovery money must repay $21,000 and serve four months under house arrest along with three years of probation.

The Sun Herald reports 29-year-old Sonya Renee Williams, of Gulfport, also must perform 70 hours of community service.

Senior U.S. District Judge Walter J. Gex III sentenced her yesterday on a guilty plea to making fraudulent claims to obtain money by mail fraud.

The money must be paid to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which handled federal recovery money from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust Fund after the catastrophe in April 2010.

Prosecutors have said the six relatives swindled more than $98,000 from the trust fund.

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