The oil spill that was once expected to bring economic ruin to the Gulf Coast instead delivered a gusher of money. But some people wound up getting comparatively little.
Jason Melerine, left, night rigs for shrimp with deckhand Stephen Tircuit, center, outside Delacroix Island, La. Melerine, 28, who said his income was about $90,000 in 2009, received a six-month compensation check for $180,000. He had submitted invoices showing that his boat sold $280,000 worth of seafood the year before, an amount that didn't reflect his expenses.Melanie Burford/Prime for ProPublica
The oil spill once expected to bring economic ruin to the Gulf Coast appears to have delivered something different: a gusher of money. So many people cashed in that they earned the nicknames “spillionaires” or “BP rich.”