A New Orleans couple pleaded guilty Monday to recreational fishing license fraud in a scheme to collect money for false claims after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to a press release.
Derwin Hill and Diana Hill, both 60, were ordered to each pay a $1,500 fine and received a two-year suspended jail sentence and two years of probation from Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier in Orleans Parish District Court.
Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrested the couple on Feb. 27 for filing false public records for forging a recreational fishing license in order to make claims after the Deepwater Horizon spill, according to a press release.
The LDWF Licensing Section notified agents of their attempt to forge a license, and agents ultimately learned that Diana Hill forged a 2011-12 recreational license purchased by her husband to reflect a 2010-11 license in order to make a claim with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility and Deepwater Horizon Settlement Program, the release states.
Agents learned the couple made two separate claims with the altered license: one on Oct. 31, 2011 for $19,500 in lost earnings in the fishing industry, and a second subsistence claim filed by Derwin Hill with the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Program on Oct. 24, 2012 for not being able to fish because of the oil spill, according to the release.
The Hill’s did not receive any money from the claims because of the discovery of the forged license, the release states.