Kyle Barnett Aug. 15, 2013, 10:46am

NEW ORLEANS – Only one week after BP filed a request to temporarily stop payments for claims under a settlement agreement stemming from the 2010 Gulf oil spill until allegations of fraud were investigated, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier has provided Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau’s Office a two-week deadline to respond to fraud claims within the office.

BP filed a motion, the second in within a month, to put a temporary stop on claims payments due to what the company deems is “systemic fraud” within the claims administration process.

After setting up a fraud hotline, BP asserts it has received a call from an individual who claimed she knew of an attorney who was processing claims in the Mobile, Ala. office who was taking kickbacks for approving claims, including to her own family members.

Ex-FBI director Louis Freeh is currently undertaking an investigation of earlier findings of an internal audit by Juneau’s office that resulted in the termination of a married couple who worked as attorneys for the office in claims processing and are alleged to have steered claims to benefit themselves and their peers.

Barbier ordered Juneau’s office to file a written motion to the most recent charge by Aug. 26.

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