FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2014
AG ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL CONVICTIONS FOR CHARGES
RELATED TO THEFT AND FRAUDULENT OIL SPILL CLAIMS
(MONTGOMERY)--Attorney General Luther Strange today announced two felony convictions in Baldwin County on charges related to fraudulent claims for compensation related to the BP oil spill. Seven defendants previously have been convicted and charges are pending against another in Mobile County.
The latest convictions arise from evidence presented by the Attorney General’s Office to a Baldwin County grand jury in September of 2013. These defendants were charged with creating and submitting false documentation to BP claiming that they suffered lost income due to the oil spill, and received funds from BP as a result of fraudulent claims.
On February 13, the following defendants pleaded guilty to first degree theft of property and received sentences of imprisonment which were suspended for terms of probation upon the condition that they pay court costs and fees as well as restitution to BP for funds they received fraudulently. First-degree theft of property is a class B felony; second-degree theft of property and second-degree possession of forged instruments are class C felonies.
- Jason Scott Aspinwall, 36, Robertsdale, was sentenced to two years, which was suspended for a term of two years of supervised probation, and ordered to pay $6,100 in restitution to BP, court costs, and $50 to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission.
- Douglas Kerr, 39, of Fairhope, was sentenced to three years, which was suspended for a term of two years of supervised probation, and ordered to pay $11,000 in restitution to BP, court costs, and $50 to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission.
Additionally, a trial is scheduled to begin on February 24 in Mobile County Circuit Court. Brandy Strong, 36, of Mobile, is charged* with 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. Each of these charges is class C felonies with potential penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment.
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 Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office for its assistance in serving warrants.
*An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.