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10 Alabamians Indicted on Oil Spill Fraud Charges

By: Press Release
By: Press Release

(MONTGOMERY)--Attorney General Luther Strange today announced indictments* of 10 individuals who have been arrested on charges related to alleged theft and fraudulent claims for compensation related to the BP oil spill.

These cases arise from evidence presented by the Attorney General’s Office to a Mobile County grand jury on May 15, 2013. Several defendants allegedly created and submitted false documentation to BP claiming that they suffered lost income due to the oil spill, and most received funds from BP as a result of the allegedly fraudulent claims.

The defendants are charged with various crimes, including first-degree theft of property, a class B felony; second-degree theft of property, a class C felony; first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property, a class C felony; possession of a forged instrument, a class C felony; and first-degree attempted theft of property, a class C felony.

Specifically, the individuals who have been arrested and the crimes with which each is charged are as follows:

• Arthur Isham, 42, of Bayou La Batre, second-degree theft of property;

• Patrick Isham, 38, of Irvington, two counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument;

• Delisha Purdy, 37, of Theodore, first-degree theft of property, eight counts of first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property, three counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument;

• Jessica Verrett, 27, of Irvington, first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property; first-degree theft of property, and three counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument;

• Derek Strong, 43, of Irvington, first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property, first-degree theft of property, and three counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument;

• Rhonda Howard, 38, of Mobile, first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property, first-degree theft of property, and three counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument;

• Nicholas Graham, 36, of Mobile, first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property; first-degree theft of property, and three counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument;

• James Gibbons, 41, of Chickasaw, first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property, first-degree theft of property, and three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument;

• Toni Strong, 25, of Theodore, first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property, first-degree attempted theft of property, and two counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument; and

• Marie Williams, 24, of Theodore, first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property, first-degree attempted theft of property, and two counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument.

If convicted, the defendants face potential penalties of two to 20 years imprisonment and fines of up to $30,000 for each count that is a class B felony, and one to 10 years imprisonment and fines of up to $15,000 for each count that is a class B felony.

Attorney General Strange commended Assistant Attorney General James H. Rutter III of his Criminal Trials Division, who presented the cases to the grand jury, and Special Agents of the Attorney General’s Investigations Division. He thanked the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office for its assistance in serving warrants. Investigation of this matter is ongoing. No further information about the investigation or about the defendants’ alleged crimes other than that stated in the indictments may be released at this time.


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