Woman sentenced in oil spill fraud case

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Associated Press

Posted on July 14, 2012 at 3:05 AM

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A judge has ordered a Long Beach woman to repay $35,300 she wasn't eligible to receive from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust Fund.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/LkNSoe) that U.S. District Judge Walter J. Gex III also put Billie Jean Buza on probation for three years.

Buza pleaded guilty to wire fraud in April. She faced up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Prosecutors say Buza received the money after filing a claim for wages lost as a result of the oil spill. She worked at a fashion accessories outlet in Gulfport when the oil spill occurred in April 2010.

Prosecutors say they were prepared to show her hours on the job were reduced but it wasn't because of the oil spill.

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