New York — More than 100 people have been jailed for making fraudulent oil spill claims against BP, highlighting the scale of fraud the energy group faced as it tried to contain damage over the US’s largest environmental disaster, in 2010. The data, released by the US department of justice following a freedom of information request, showed that 311 people had been convicted by September 2016, with 102 sent to prison. Seven had been given five years or more in jail, including one sentenced to 15 years. BP has paid billions of dollars in compensation claims over the Deep­Water Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. When the disputes were at their height in 2013-14, the company waged a public campaign against what it called "outrageous" claims, taking out full-page advertisements in US newspapers arguing that "what’s happening to BP is bad for American business". Lawyers representing claimants, however, have argued that the level of fraud was low relative to the number of claims paid ...

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