Tallahassee Couple Enters Plea in Bogus Oil Spill Claim Case

By: U.S. Department of Justice Release; Julie Montanaro Email
By: U.S. Department of Justice Release; Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 9.4.2012 by Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee couple set to go on trial this week for filing a false oil spill claim has entered a plea instead.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Henry and Nadine Barnes entered a guilty plea last week to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Sentencing is set for November 29th at 9am.

Tallahassee, Florida- July 13, 2012

Henry Clyde Barnes (46) and Nadine Barnes (41), of Tallahassee, have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud based upon the submission of a false claim for payments from the trust fund established for Gulf Coast oil spill victims.

The indictment alleges that in October 2010, the Barnes, who are married, submitted a false claim to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility seeking payment for earnings they claimed to have lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. According to the indictment, the defendants submitted documentation claiming they had lost work at a property management company; subsequent investigation revealed that the company did not exist.

If convicted, defendants face up to twenty years in prison. Trial is scheduled for September 4, 2012, in Tallahassee.

Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, commended the work of the United States Secret Service, whose investigation led to the indictment in this case.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Herbert Lindsey.

An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the Government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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