BP withholding Payments, to Prevent Fraud

(10AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

Ed Schultz was stunned by the recent about face of BP —

First they promise to make everyone whole —

Now they are saying hold on, there a minute partner —

Where are your Papers?

Ed Schultz — BP: Broken Promises — Fisherman Not Getting Paid

summarized transcript over the fold  

BP: Broken Promises — Ed Schultz

The Ed Show, for Thursday, July 8th, 2010

from the transcript to last Thursday show


Now, this story continues and it continues with the attorney Jeff Breit, who is representing more than 500 fishermen who claim that they have not been paid.  Mr. Breit, good to have you with us tonight.  I appreciate your time.  Tell us —


SCHULTZ:  You bet.  What happened?  What happened here?

BREIT:  Well, I have about 500 fishermen who were promised to get paid yesterday, 30 days after their first check.  The families and the fishermen counted on that money.  They budget themselves for that money.  And yesterday afternoon, they called me and said they weren’t going to give the money because they were changing the process.  They wanted to change the way that people prove their losses.  And they left 500 families without a paycheck this weekend.


BREIT:  […] We think that they’re changing the process to have these fishermen try to prove actual losses versus the estimates that they’ve been able to do since April 20th.  The problem with actual losses is these fishermen don’t keep records like companies.  They can’t really tell their actual losses until the end of the season.


BREIT:  […] Remember, 90 percent of these fishing grounds have been shut down.  I don’t see why they need anything else other than that to show these people have losses.  And to tell these people, which is the bigger problem, “We gave you $2500 on June 7th, we will give you $2500 on July 7th,” and then just stop the payment?  No warning, no notice?  How are these families going to pay their bills this weekend?  Their mortgages, their car payments, and their food?  That’s who I care about.

SCHULTZ:  And you should, and you’re doing a great job.  But did I hear you say $2500?  We’re talking —

BREIT:  Well, that’s —

SCHULTZ:  $2500 for 500 fishermen?

BREIT:  Well, most of the people that I represent are getting $2500 a month, or were getting $2500 a month.  The captains were getting $5,000 a month, which was BP’s way of estimating what these losses are.  In fact, a number of these people have much greater losses than that, and now we’re trying to come up with the documentation that BP wants.

We called this morning and said what do you want?  What changes do you want in documentation?  The claims office honestly doesn’t know.  And that’s the bigger problem.

SCHULTZ:  I hope the White House is listening.  This is what people are dealing with.  It’s an amazing story.

[from the story intro …]

SCHULTZ:  And I think the White House needs to pay attention to this, because this country was focused on this alleged shakedown of BP, and it went all the way to the hearings in the hall of of Congress.  It was almost a ten-day story about how President Obama was shaking down BP.  Well, I’ll tell you what, as far as those fishermen are concerned, they think the shakedown is pretty damn short.

One thing you can say about Ed — he sure gets riled up about the working men and women of this country!

Someone has to!

K.O. reported on this, today.  Fisherman are now facing the wrath of BP accountants … tens of thousands of them …

Of course Fisherpeople are ‘simple country folks’, just the kind the Corporate Lawyers, like to have for their next “free lunch”!

BP gets stricter with claims

By Catherine Clifford, CNN staff reporter — July 9, 2010

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — BP is becoming increasingly stringent with its demands for documentation from victims filing claims for lost wages and income in the Gulf region.

Immediately following the spill, many initial payments were distributed in uniform amounts with minimum documentation based on estimates. Now, BP will make payments based on each claimants’ documented losses.

As a result of the tightened standards, some claimants could get more money than the standardized industry check they have been receiving while others could get less.

And those claimants that are already in the claims system but have yet to submit the necessary documentation will get a $1,000 “good faith” check for July as they continue to gather papers, but they will not get full payment until proper documentation has been submitted.


Fishermen earn the bulk of their annual pay in a few peak months that vary depending on the particular seafood being caught. When they submit their paperwork, those variations will be accounted for.

BP has paid out $157.6 million in nearly 51,000 checks as of Thursday. More than 100,000 total claims have been submitted to BP, but meanwhile, more than 45,000 claims are sidelined, awaiting further documentation.

As BP tightens its demand for documentation, the company insists it is not trying to SHORTCHANGE any claimants.

NO, Not at all — Money has NOTHING to do with anything BP does —

They will be here “for as long as it takes” …

(to hoodwink the Public, that is, into thinking the problem’s solved.)

Unfortunately, for the fisherfolks, their trade shares something  in common with many others —

Housekeepers, gardeners, farmers, handymen, waiters, bus-staff, nannies, dog walkers, paper delivery, antique dealers, garage sale managers, swap meet partipicpants, etc. etc.–

these Trades are often “Cash on the Barrel head” types of agreements.  Do the work, bring the goods, haggle a price, and you get paid.

Paperwork, is rarely exchanged — let alone the kind of Documentation, BP is now demanding.

Fishermen caught in a quandary

Not keeping records in cash-only industry puts compensation at risk

By Renee C. Lee, Houston Chronicle — July 4, 2010

Forms of documentation

BP, which has been paying claims since shortly after the April 20 oil rig explosion, requires proof of income for monthly short-term emergency assistance. Tax returns, W-2s, wage loss statements, deposit slips, boat registration, copies of current fishing licenses and trip tickets have been acceptable forms of documentation.

The same documentation will be required under the $20 billion compensation fund, which should be operational in two to three weeks, said Ken Feinberg, who was appointed by President Barack Obama to administer the fund. He will be responsible for claims from individuals and businesses.


Those documents will be verified, and individuals without them will be out of luck if they do not have some way to verify their claims, he said. People who work in a cash industry can bring in their employer, their priest or a public official for verification, he said.

We have to be very vigilant against fraud,” said Feinberg, who oversaw a similar fund for victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. “We just can’t give away money without corroboration. That’s just unacceptable.”

Better start showing up at those Sunday Meetings Fishermen, you might need the clergy to vouch for your “good works”.

We just can’t take YOUR word for it can we —

Otherwise EVERY Fisherperson within 500 miles will want a Check too

and we can’t have THAT now, can we?

Fishermen caught in a quandary

Not keeping records in cash-only industry puts compensation at risk

By Renee C. Lee, Houston Chronicle — July 4, 2010

For as long as many can remember, the Gulf fishing industry has operated on a mostly cash-only basis. Shrimp and crab are purchased on the dock with cash and deckhands who help on the boats are paid in cash.

It’s an industry that goes back seven and eight generations,” said Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. “It’s based on relationships and handshakes, and it doesn’t change much.”

Fishermen are supposed to keep records of what they sell and pay taxes on their income, but many sell under the table and skirt the law. The scofflaws now may lose a chance to get a share of the $20 billion BP oil compensation fund set up to help individuals and businesses hurt by the largest-ever oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Without verifiable proof of income, they cannot access the fund to recoup any financial losses.

So much for “Your Word is your Bond” —

Good enough for hundreds of years — No Longer, thanks to BP.  There goes a “way of life”

Your paper trail is your Bond” — NOW … better get busy filing all those Back Taxes, too. …  While your at it, pay your Granddad’s Taxes too —

It only business, you understand ?

Move along now, won’t you.  Stop back when you figure out how you’re going to “prove you exist” —

Enough with the stunned silence — WHY don’t ya go fishin’ or something?



Skip to comment form

    • jamess on July 13, 2010 at 03:47

    never ceases to amaze me —

    Joe Barton would be proud!

    • jamess on July 13, 2010 at 04:32

    can reach some sort of compromise

    something like a default “subsistence” wage?


    Fisherfolks can’t even fish for their OWN Food, anymore.

    truly tradgic.

  1. …. there was a boat captain that already committed suicide over this and the knowledge the fish were going to be gone and not be back.  The fishing boats that are working as vessels of opportunity skimming oil, they have to fill out 50+ page documents of what they did and then BP stiffs them anyway.  

  2. Why are they not being made to write multi-billion dollar checks to a federal agency which then distributes the money?

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