Gulfport man admits using fake business name to get oil-spill money

Pleads guilty to mail fraud

rfitzgerald@sunherald.comJune 26, 2014 

GULFPORT -- A Gulfport man has admitted he used a fake business name to get oil-spill recovery money.

Brian Keith Lee, 40, pleaded guilty Tuesday to committing mail fraud when he received a check for $23,541.88 in April 2011.

He accepted a plea agreement to one count in a three-count indictment that carried maximum prison time of 60 years. He faces up to 20 years for mail fraud.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden set sentencing for Oct. 2.

U.S. Attorney Gregory Davis said Lee filed a claim with falsified documents that showed a loss of income after the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil-rig explosion.

The indictment said Lee claimed he lost earnings from work for Gulf South Seafood in Biloxi and Long Beach and he provided W-2 forms for 2009 and 2010 from JW Consulting LLC, which reportedly ran the business.

The business doesn't exist, Davis said.

Lee was sent to a state prison Jan. 3, 2013, for drug possession in Harrison County, according to Mississippi Department of Corrections records.

A federal grand jury indicted him March 4 following an investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Jones prosecuted the case.

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