- Associated Press - Thursday, November 5, 2015

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A sixth defendant in a $2.3 billion BP fraud case has pleaded not guilty to charges similar to his conviction 10 years ago for providing false names for claims against the manufacturer of the diet drug Fen-Phen.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1MK7eDx) Gregory Warren’s 2005 guilty plea in the Fen-Phen federal case was not mentioned at his arraignment in the BP case Wednesday in Gulfport.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Walker gave Warren, of Lafayette, Louisiana, an unsecured bond of $25,000.

Warren, 51, is owner of IP Development LLC. The business is one of three whose owners reportedly were paid $10 million to provide names and identifying information for possible BP litigation and for bogus disaster-relief claims filed with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

The indictment alleges Warren was heavily involved in wire transfers, some of which coincided with his purchases of a 2010 BMW, a 2011 BMW and a 2011 Audi. It also says he paid to lease a building for a K&G; Consulting office in Biloxi to help recruit clients.

Warren is among seven people indicted Sept. 15 on 95 charges.

The trial is set for Dec. 7.

Walker on Wednesday said it’s likely defense attorneys will ask for the trial to be postponed. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Dowdy said he is ready for trial but would agree to a delay.

Those indicted include prominent San Antonio attorney Mikal Watts, 48; his brother, David Watts, 50, chief operating officer of the law firm Watts, Guerra and Craft; and Wynter Lee, 37, the law firm’s mass torts coordinator.

Also indicted are Thi Houng “Kristy” Le, 48, owner of K&G; Consulting in Pascagoula; Le’s sister-in-law, Thi Hoang “Abbey” Nguyen, 30, of Grand Bay, Ala.; and Hector Eloy Guerra, 48, of Harlington, Texas, and principal owner of JEG Development LLC.

Le’s arraignment is set for Monday.

All seven each face one count of conspiracy and multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft and aggravated identity theft.

The charges claim they conspired to submit more than 40,000 names of alleged plaintiffs represented by Mikal Watts. He had been appointed to a BP settlement committee but later resigned.


Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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