Crime

Defendant in BP fraud case is jailed for violating conditions of bond

A Key West woman awaiting sentencing for swindling nearly $500,000 from the BP relief program set up after the 2010 oil-spill disaster is already back in jail.

Caridad Rioseco Alejandrez, 50, violated her bond agreement by testing positive for a controlled substance, according to federal prosecutors, who said the specifics aren't part of the public record.

She was ordered to surrender by May 2 after an April 29 court hearing before federal Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow, according to an arrest warrant released May 25.

Alejandrez is due for sentencing July 11 in Key West before U.S. District Court Judge Jose Martinez, having pleaded guilty in April to one count of mail fraud, which carries up to 20 years in prison.

Originally charged with 21 counts of fraud for her role in the BP scheme, Alejandrez had been out on a $250,000 bond since two days after her arrest Sept. 14, 2015, court records show.

By filing false claims, Alejandrez, who worked preparing tax returns but was not a licensed accountant, received checks in amounts of $30,000 and $25,000 by FedEx between October 2010 and January 2011.

Her father, retired fisherman Raul Rioseco, 73, is serving a prison sentence of one year and one day handed down in April by Martinez.

After serving his prison time, Rioseco will have three years of probation with conditions that include 180 days of home detention with electronic monitoring.

As of May 2012, Monroe County businesses and residents had received a total $184.2 million on 11,135 paid claims, according to the now-closed Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which BP created to handle such reimbursement in the wake of the disaster and funded with a $20 billion donation.

An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 men. Estimates are some 200 million gallons of oil spilled into the water. None of it reached the Keys but that summer, there were fears it would, resulting in a disaster for tourism.

  Comments