WHAT: BP could be paying millions in compensation to bogus fishermen. State applications for commercial fishing licenses have jumped nearly 60 percent, despite most fishing grounds being closed by the disastrous oil spill. Louisiana has sold 2,200 licenses since the spill.
HOW: Genuine fishermen are being offered thousands of dollars to sign documents attesting that fraudulent claimants worked for them. Three suspected con men were arrested this week. So far, BP has paid $308 million to those whose livelihood was disrupted by the Gulf of Mexico spill.
WHAT’S BEING DONE: At first, BP was writing checks to just anybody who had a commercial fishing license. There were no investigations into whether claimants really were commercial fishermen. But now, the company has set up verification centers it said will catch anyone who bilked the system.