May 14 sentencing date set for Harrison County man convicted in Gulf oil spill fraud case



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GULFPORT, Mississippi — A Harrison County man will be sentenced May 14 for lying about his employment to receive $36,000 in oil-spill recovery money.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1NM33Uh ) Elvis Gray was convicted Feb. 20 on one count of mail fraud. He was acquitted him on two other charges.

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

Gray mailed fishing trip tickets, hull and vessel registration forms and an employment letter to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility to receive the compensation.

Gray made the claims in Harrison and Jackson counties after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in April 2010.

Gray remains jailed though he filed a motion asking for bond pending sentencing. In the motion, Gray noted he was married with children, has lived in Harrison County most of his life, tested negative for drugs at the time of his conviction and had not been convicted of a violent crime.

U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. denied the request, saying, in part, that testimony was given at Gray's trial that illegal drugs were "extensively used" by individuals who participated in the scheme.


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

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