22 BP fraud charges against lawyer duplicate others: judge

The 95-count scams indictment against a San Antonio lawyer and 6 co-defendants could be much shorter when trial begins in Mississippi on federal charges implicating them of inflating a client list for BP oil spill litigation.


Twenty-two counts of aggravated identity theft seem “multiplicitous” that is, to cover the very same alleged offenses as some of the 50-plus counts of identity scams versus Mikal Watts and the others, U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. told government lawyers Tuesday.

“I’m uncertain dismissal of those counts is the remedy … but there should be a solution to correct the multiplicitousness I’ve simply developed a word the multiplicitousness of the indictment,” the judge said.

Watts, 2 non-attorneys with his law office and 4 field workers are implicated of inventing victims of the 2010 oil spill to land Watts a spot on the financially rewarding BP litigation guiding committee and inflate legal fees he may collect.

Watts, a lawyer who has actually earned millions taking legal action against corporations over customer injuries, keeps his innocence.

9Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Rushing said after the hearing he didn’t understand what might be done besides dropping the worsened identity theft charges. Lawyer Chip Lewis, representing accused Hector Guerra, stated he ‘d be pleased with that.

Watts’ co-defendants also state they are innocent. They are his sibling David Watts and Wynter Lee, both of whom work in his law office; and BP claim field agents Hector Eloy Guerra of Weslaco, Texas; Gregory Warren of Lafayette, Louisiana; and Thi Houng Le and her sister-in-law, Thi Hoang Nguyen, both of Grand Bay, Alabama.

Watts, who is representing himself, got approval to testify as a story.

Hurrying said that it would be challenging for district attorneys making objections in that format.

Watts responded to, “I’m attempting to eliminate the relatively ridiculous format of me asking concerns and addressing them.” He stated he would use PowerPoint slides to explain the topics he was covering, and would provide those ahead of time to prosecutors.

The trial is scheduled to start July 18 and last six to 10 weeks.