Feds ready to stop oil spill related scams

Disaster hotline already hearing complaints

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - 6:36pm

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Justice Department officials are urging people to report any suspected fraud in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Justice Department's criminal division say they want to make sure the people who were harmed by the spill get the dollars earmarked for residents and businesses.

After the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP PLC, the company set aside $20 billion to compensate those affected by the oil spill.

The disaster fraud hot line is 1-877-623-3423.

The Justice Department launched a similar effort to combat fraud after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005.

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