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Fraud Case Linked to Top Official
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) New allegations of fraud involving BP Oil Spill payouts are now connected to a prominent name in Alabama politics and law enforcement.
In a federal indictment made public this week, 4 people indicted by a grand jury are related to the Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement and Homeland Security, Spencer Collier.
Collier's former sister-in-law Tonya, son Christopher, brother Harvey and nephew Wayne Eric are named in the indictment.
I have no reason to believe that is significant to this investigation at this time, said Dennis Knizley, who represents Harvey Collier, I just think these people were simply involved in the seafood industry or the water-related industry in that area and happened to be who was arrested in this case.
Others named in the indictment were Simon Williams, Bobby Rodger and Michael Steiner.
While Spencer Collier is not a subject of the fraud investigation, Governor Robert Bentley, who appointed Collier to his post, offered support in a written statement Wednesday, vowing to "continue to support Spencer Collier during this difficult time."
All seven defendants are alleged to have received thousands in fraudulent claims related to the 2010 disaster.
The Colliers have all pleaded not guilty.
Knizley said his client appeared in court Wednesday to request a release from custody on conditions. He said a decision was expected Thursday.
If convicted, all defendants face a combined sentence of 210 years in prison and a $3.5M fine.