Closing arguments set in claims of fake oil spill plaintiffs

oil-spill-2010Jurors in Mississippi are set to begin weighing whether they believe a Texas lawyer and six others faked damage claims after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Closing arguments are scheduled Wednesday in the criminal trial in Gulfport. San Antonio lawyer Mikal Watts and his co-defendants face 66 charges.

Prosecutors say the seven people created a list of bogus plaintiffs including people who died before the spill and people whose names and Social Security numbers were used without permission.

Watts and other defendants conducted a shorter defense than they originally projected in the case, which began July 20. The defendants argue the government hasn’t proved they intended to defraud anyone. Watts, his brother David Watts and law partner Hector Eloy Guerra filed motions seeking acquittal Tuesday as the trial ended.

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