BP's Profits-First Culture Prompts 11 Felony Guilty Pleas, $4.5B Fines

"Citing gross negligence and what it called the company's profits-first culture, the federal government on Thursday announced it had entered into a settlement with BP of all criminal claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, fining the company a record $4.5 billion and securing 11 felony pleas from the company for the 11 people killed in the April 2010 blast."

"The oil giant's settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice calls for $4 billion to be paid in installments over five years, and a $525 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to be paid over three years, the government and BP said. The SEC settlement is based on the company's lowballing of estimates of how much oil was flowing from the well in the days and weeks after the April 20, 2010, rig explosion.

Under the plea agreement, BP will plead guilty to 11 felony counts of misconduct or neglect of ships' officers relating to the loss of 11 lives, the equivalent of manslaughter charges; one misdemeanor count under the Clean Water Act; one misdemeanor count under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; and one felony count of obstruction of Congress. The agreement must still be approved by U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance, before whom BP officials appeared on Thursday."

Mark Schleifstein reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune November 15, 2012.


"BP's $4.5 Billion Settlement of Criminal Charges Includes at Least $1.2 Billion for Louisiana Coastal Restoration" (Times-Picayune)

"In BP Indictments, U.S. Shifts To Hold Individuals Accountable" (New York Times)

"BP Will Plead Guilty and Pay Over $4 Billion" (New York Times)

"BP Agrees To Pay $4.5 Billion in Penalties for U.S. Oil Spill" (Reuters)

"Oil Spill Settlement Deal Rapped as Chump Change For BP" (FuelFix)

"BP To Pay Record $4.5 Billion Criminal Penalty in Deepwater Horizon Spill" (McClatchy)

"Is the BP Criminal Settlement Enough?" (Mother Jones)

"BP Oil Spill Settlement Announced, Robert Kaluza And Donald Vidrine Charged With Manslaughter" (Huffington Post)

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/16/2012