Defense attorney: Texas lawyer indicted over oil spill fraud

BP Settlement
Posted at 6:03 PM, Oct 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-21 18:03:00-04

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A Texas lawyer accused of submitting thousands of false claims for damages from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill faces federal charges.

Robert McDuff, a lawyer for San Antonio attorney Mikal Watts, confirmed Wednesday that Watts has been indicted in Mississippi and will appear in court next week.

Watts denies wrongdoing, saying in a statement that he is not guilty of any crimes.

McDuff says that because the indictment is sealed, he can't discuss specific charges against Watts. McDuff says others have been indicted, but he is declining to name them.

BP sued Watts in December, alleging that he used phony Social Security numbers to make bogus claims.

Federal prosecutors didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The indictment was first reported by the San Antonio Express-News.