UPDATE: BP claim forms circulating in LC area - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

UPDATE: BP claim forms circulating in LC area

We have an update on the BP claim forms being circulated in our area.

The manager of the Richmond Suites Hotel in Lake Charles says claimant interviews to be held there Friday are cancelled.

Minister Gregory Warren of Lafayette says he is now looking for a new place to hold meetings. Warren says he is a community advocate and simply wants to educate and inform people about the BP settlement and what to do if they have a valid claim.


Warren does admit he was convicted of wire fraud and tax evasion some years back and says he is not trying to hide his past. His convictions had to do with an alleged scheme to submit fraudulent claims in connection with a previous class action suit dealing with the diet pill fen phen.

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Over the last couple of weeks, someone has been circulating so-called BP oil spill claim forms in the Lake Charles area.

You might think most claims associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been settled, yet people have until February 12, 2015, to submit proof of claim forms seeking compensation for a physical condition. Someone is holding meetings around the Lake Area, trying to get people to sign up, but they're not too forthcoming when it comes to saying who they are or who they represent.

Last week, there were groups of people at Mill Street Church of Christ during various times of the day.

"People there wasn't church members. I'm getting calls from church members wanting to know, and the leadership getting calls from the church members. What's going on at our church?" said Ken Gay, who is the church's financial advisor.

At 6 p.m. last Thursday, the church parking lot was filled with cars and people were gathering -- not for bible study or prayer -- but to find out about BP oil spill claims. A sign on the front door read "BP claims: 9 a.m.-noon and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday." The person inside who seemed to be in charge wouldn't let cameras in. He wouldn't even give us his name.

Church officials say they thought it was a one time meeting and something positive for the community. Gay says church leaders had been contacted by a pastor out of Hammond named Greg Warren.

"Greg Warren came in here a month or so ago, and he said he had some information about the BP spill, that he represented -- he worked with them -- and they were looking for people who possibly had claims that they could file in order to get money back against BP," said Gay.

Gay says no one was prepared for the influx of people or series of meetings. Plus, the people were being asked to provide personal information including social security numbers on a one page form.

"That's information you don't want to give to anybody that's not legit. We have so much going on with fraud now," said Gay.

So, church officials have said no more at their building.

"We felt it could possibly hurt the reputation of the church and really wasn't for the community and that we're pretty sure if you guys are into it you're getting paid for it. So, therefore, if it's a legit business, you need to find yourself somewhere else to go... basically we shut it down," said Gay.

Yet, evidently those circulating the forms are moving their operation to the Richmond Suites at Highway 171 and Moeling... A sign on the front door reads BP will be there Friday.

We have had no success yet reaching Pastor Greg Warren.

Those handling administration of the Deepwater Horizon Settlement say they have a claims center in New Orleans but no others in Louisiana.

They say the official proof of claim form is 21 pages with additional attachments.

Administrators provided us with links to the official website and contact information. Here is the official Deepwater Horizon Medical Settlement website: www.deepwaterhorizonmedicalsettlement.com. Our claims center is located at 935 Gravier Street, Suite 1400 New Orleans, LA 70112 – The Garretson Resolution Group is the claims administrator for the Deepwater Horizon Medical Benefits Settlement. This is our only claims center location for this settlement  – we do not have claims centers anywhere else in Louisiana.

To file a claim, people can visit the website to download forms or they can call the claims center and request that forms be sent to them. The toll free number is: 1-877-545-5111. The hours are 8 am to 5 pm CST, Monday through Friday.

Also, here is the official Proof of Claim form – you’ll notice that it is 21 pages long and has some additional attachments. https://deepwaterhorizonmedicalsettlement.com/Portals/23/DWHDocuments/SAFinalProofofClaimForm20120403eh536.pdf

If you have any knowledge of fraudulent claims or schemes to obtain funds intended for the victims of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, please contact the Gulf Coast Disaster Fraud Hotline at: (877) NCDF GCF (623-3423). Calls can be made anonymously and confidentially.
   
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