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Judge in Gulf oil spill case grants subpoena power to settlement claims administrator

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NEW ORLEANS — The administrator of claims arising from a settlement over economic damages caused by the 2010 BP oil spill has been granted subpoena power.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier (BAHR'-bee-aye) on Wednesday granted a motion seeking subpoena power by administrator Patrick Juneau.

Juneau filed the motion last week. It noted that the power to investigate possibly fraudulent claims from the 2012 settlement transferred from a special court-appointed master, former FBI director Louis Freeh, to Juneau on March 31.

BP has been critical of Juneau's administration of the oil spill settlement, but ended an attempt to oust him earlier this year, saying it was satisfied with efforts to improve fraud prevention and detection in the claims program.

BP's anticipated settlement cost has grown from $7.8 billion to more than $9.7 billion.

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