BP: Lawyer Had ‘Phantom’ Victims

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 25:  An activist holds a sign during a protest in front of the Hale Boggs Federal Building on the first day of the trial over the Deep Water Horizon oil rig spill on February 25, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 11 men were killed during the accident and over 4 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

    Sean Gardner/Getty

    Better call Saul. On Tuesday, BP accused a Texas lawyer, Mikal C. Watts, of fraud for claiming to represent tens of thousands of clients after the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill—a horde the driller says is nonexistent. BP says it used the client count supplied by Watts when it set aside $2.3 billion for a special compensation program for the seafood industry, but is now asking courts to stop payment and return some of the money. Roughly 80 percent of the people asked to file claims within the program—some 40,000—are clients of Watts, says BP. Meanwhile Watts, who is a prominent lawyer and Democratic fundraiser, issued a statement through his attorney, which said this is just “another of a series of efforts to walk away from the settlement to which it agreed,” and the he, “never committed identity theft and did not defraud BP or anyone else.”

    Read it at The New York Times