Slidell Man Sentenced for Making More Than $355,000 in False Claims to the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center
NEW ORLEANS—U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that CASEY THONN, age 35, of Slidell, was sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to a two-count Bill of Information charging him with wire fraud in connection with fraudulent claims filed with the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center (“DHECC”).
U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. sentenced THONN to serve 24 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. In addition to the term of imprisonment, THONN was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $355,251, as well as a $200 special assessment.
According to court documents, THONN submitted multiple claims with the Seafood Compensation Program administered by the DHECC based on losses he allegedly sustained as result of the April 2010 oil spill. Subsequently, in early November 2012, the DHECC notified THONN that he was eligible to receive approximately $1,750.36 for these claims.
In turn, on December 3, 2012, THONN submitted Requests for Reconsideration of his original eligibility notices requesting his compensation be recalculated based on a false Federal tax return THONN provided to the DHECC. In that false submission, THONN claimed he received $156,000 of gross revenue from commercial shrimping sales in 2009. This fraudulent submission increased the defendant’s compensation from $1,750.36 to a total of $357,002.35 for these claims. Finally, in March 2013, THONN received a total of $357,002.35 from the DHECC which was caused by his fraudulent submissions.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Carter K.D. Guice, Jr. was in charge of the prosecution.