Florida man receives three years in prison for filing false Deepwater Horizon oil spill claims

Posted: 3:24 AM, Jun 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-05 07:24:41Z

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Federal authorities say a St. Petersburg man charged with filing fraudulent claims in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster has been sentenced to just over three years in prison.

A U.S. Attorney's Office news release said Monday that 62-year-old Joseph Bassler also faces a money judgment of $77,224. He pleaded guilty last June.

Prosecutors say Bassler was a licensed tax preparer who assisted companies after the 2010 oil spill in filing business loss claims. He filed inflated claims on behalf of his clients.

Officials say as payment for his services, Bassler accepted a portion of the recovery money from the claims he submitted. He submitted 62 claims, and three were paid off, with Bassler and his clients receiving over $600,000 more than they were entitled to.