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Crabs kitchen manager speaks out against people filing false BP claims
PENSACOLA BEACH -- Seven people were indicted Monday afternoon for filing false BP claims. It's been three years since the BP oil spill, and yet fraudulent claims are a problem. Seven men are charged with filing a false claim, inflating their income on claim forms or claiming they lost their job because of the spill. Six of them worked at Hooter's on Pensacola beach, something that's upsetting for businesses here.
The kitchen manager at Crabs John Flaningam Is disappointed people are taking advantage of a system that's meant to help people devastated by the oil spill.
There were a lot of people who needed the money who lost out on a lot of time, hours, service, everything, said Flaningam.
He remembers the aftermath of the oil spill. He said, business was slow and many workers at Crabs were struggling to make ends meet.
"There were people who needed the money desperately. Their income overnight it drastically dropped a third."
Colleen Lucas said, I just can't believe people have the guts to do something like that...It's just completely not right."
Lucas believes these false claims are only hurting the ones who were truly affected by the spill and depend on the money.
"People deserve that money who may not get as much as they need," she said.
Flaningam agrees many people aren't getting what they deserve. But he's glad the ones who are lying, are getting caught.
"Those who didnt need it should get in trouble for trying to get it.... everyone seemed to try and take advantage of it, Flaningam said.
These charges are a result of an investigation by the US Secret Service. All seven men will be tried in October.