Eliu Gonzalez, Florida City Sea Hustler, Pleads Guilty to Defrauding BP Out of Oil Spill Funds
We're betting this is what Gonzalez looks like.
BP was recently ripped off to the tune of six figures by an enterprising hustler named Eliu Gonzalez. The 37-year-old Florida City resident was indicted in April for forging documents to claim $110,116 in lost fishing income due to the Deepwater Horizon spill.
(Call us anarchists, but we are annoyed that no BP official has been charged with any crime in connection with the $20 billion-plus oil spill that totally screwed up the Gulf and messed up a lot of fishies' days. Just sayin'.)
To prove lost income, Gonzalez filed invoices showing he sold yellowtail snapper to Miami's Casablanca Fish Market. He said he caught them on his boat, the Trudi Ann II, during 16 trips from January through April 2010.
BP's oil rig exploded in April 2010, and its Gulf Coast Claims Facility compensated him based on what he purportedly would have earned.
Casablanca harpooned the scheme when a records-keeper testified the invoices were fake -- and that Gonzalez had actually had never sold fish to the market.
Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets
TicketsMon., Jan. 30, 7:30pm
Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
TicketsTue., Jan. 31, 7:30pm
Florida Panthers v Anaheim Ducks
TicketsFri., Feb. 3, 7:30pm
Florida Atlantic University Owls Men's Basketball vs. University of North Texas Mean Green Mens Basketball
TicketsThu., Feb. 9, 7:00pm
If Gonzalez's local criminal record is any indication, the sea police be hatin' on him. He's been arrested for possession of undersize dolphin (the fish, we hope) and lobster, driving a vessel with an expired registration, and ignoring a diver's down flag.
The poor guy, who's been detained as a flight risk since his arrest two months ago, will be sentenced in January.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.