The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 30, 2013

Woman charged in scheme to defraud oil spill fund


Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM — Federal prosecutors in Birmingham have charged a woman as part of a conspiracy to file a fraudulent BP oil spill compensation claim.

Prosecutors say they have charged nine people so far with conspiring to defraud the fund established to help those harmed by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Seven have pleaded guilty.

In court documents Thursday, prosecutors have accused 47-year-old Metilda Steward Gorden of agreeing to provide personal information to individuals who recruited her so they could use her information to file a false claim for lost wages.

Prosecutors allege Gorden received roughly $65,000, part of which was returned to those who had recruited her. The names of those individuals have not been disclosed.

It was not immediately known whether Gorden has an attorney.