Harrison County man to serve prison time for lying about employment, receiving oil-spill money

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GULFPORT, Mississippi — A Harrison County man has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying about his employment to receive $36,000 in oil-spill recovery money.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1QOT3uY ) that Elvis O'Neal Gray was convicted in federal court in February of mail fraud. Gray was acquitted on two other counts.

U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. sentenced Gray on Thursday. The judge ordered Gray to pay a $7,500 fine and serve three years' post-release supervision.

Prosecutors say Gray received the money after claiming he lost work as a deckhand on a commercial oyster boat known as the "Strick" or "Strike" in Pass Christian.

Prosecutors say he also allegedly submitted fraudulent records, including fishing trip tickets, hull and vessel registrations and an employment letter, to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

Gray made the claims in Harrison and Jackson counties after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in April 2010. He received the money in a wire transfer to his bank account.

Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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