Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Monday, May 20, 2013
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BP fraudster wants new trial
700 claims filed for low income workers

A Homestead man essentially facing life in prison after he was convicted of defrauding a now-shuttered BP oil claims center of $3 million wants a new trial.

A federal jury convicted Jean Mari Lindor, 31, on all 40 counts that included 26 counts of mail fraud, nine count of wire fraud, three counts of access device fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft on April 16, but he subsequently filed motions for a new trial and to be acquitted on April 30.

If his motions are shot down, Lindor faces a maximum of more than 700 years in prison at a sentencing that has yet to be scheduled before U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore.

He is arguing in court records that he should be acquitted because the evidence produced at trial failed to prove he committed access device fraud, according to court documents.

Access device basically refers to a person's social security number, bank information, birth date or other identifying information that can be used for fraudulent means.

Lindor submitted as many as 700 suspicious claims on behalf of low-income workers in the Upper Keys and elsewhere in South Florida who each paid him $300 to process their claims, according to court records.

Lindor allegedly used ground mail and the Internet to submit required forms and other documents, which included false employment and tax documents, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors allege Lindor also filed a claim stating his hours at the Coalition of Florida Farm Workers Organizations were cut because of the spill.

The false claims were filed through the now-shuttered Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which was formed by BP and the government after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The scheme was revealed by undercover FBI agents who infiltrated his Homestead company called Noula Inc., located at 233 SW Fourth St. in Homestead, according to court records.

Many of the workers who allegedly filed with Lindor worked in Key Largo and Islamorada, records state.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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