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Ohio sues BP alleging false claims for cleanup money

03 March 2015

State officials have filed suit against BP, claiming the oil major wrongfully collected more than $33 million in state reimbursements to clean up storage tank leaks, the state’s Attorney General's office announced on March 2. The suit alleges that BP got the money after falsely telling the state that it had no insurance for the leaks.

The state paid BP the money through the Petroleum Financial Assurance Fund, which helps to pay cleanup costs for storage tank owners -- but only if they don't have insurance coverage or accept money from other sources.

BP, however, actually had layers of insurance and often accepted both state and insurance money for the same leaks, the suit alleges.

In all, the company submitted 2,651 reimbursement claims, according to the Attorney General's office. An additional 905 claim applications with a value of approximately $22 million are pending review and settlement.

The lawsuit demands that BP return the money and pay unspecified damages.

BP spokesman Jason Ryan said the company "acted at all times in good faith and believes its dealings with the Ohio state underground storage tank fund have been proper." 

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