A federal judge has rejected British Petroleum's request to halt settlement payment, on a temporary basis, to businesses and residents along the Gulf Coast who claim they lost revenue after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled today that he would not allow BP to temporarily halt the payments.  BP claimed in court filings that the payments should be halted while former FBI Director Louis Freeh investigates alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped to administer the program.

The settlement is a multi-billion dollar program.

Lionel H. Sutton III allegedly received a portion of settlement money for claimants he referred to a law firm before he was hired as staff for the court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau.

BP expressed their concerns that hundreds of millions of dollars in claims were possibly tainted by fraud.

Attorneys for plaintiffs says the company couldn't prove that any claims were improper.

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