The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

April 3, 2013

La. man to be sentenced for plot to defraud BP

COXEY, Ala. —

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge is set to sentence a Covington businessman who pleaded guilty to fraudulently billing BP for roughly $1.4 million for use of a helicopter after the company's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Bay Ingram, who owned Southeast Recovery Group, faces a maximum of five years in prison following his guilty plea last year to a conspiracy charge. U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance is scheduled to sentence him Wednesday.

Ingram billed BP for a helicopter that the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office was supposed to use after the spill. Federal prosecutors say he falsified and forged documents to justify inflated invoices he submitted to the company.

Ingram also allegedly billed BP more than $300,000 for the construction of five helipads that only cost around $110,000.

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