BP to pay billions to settle criminal claims

BP's fine to settle criminal charges for the Macondo oil well tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico is set to smash the previous record for such a fine, the BBC reported.

BP's fine to settle criminal charges for the Macondo oil well tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico is set to smash the previous record for such a fine, the BBC reported.

The BBC's Business Editor, Robert Peston, says his sources indicate the fine could between $3bn and $5bn, or £1.9bn and £3.2bn. Even the lower of those numbers would be more than twice what was the largest fine in US corporate history, the $1.3bn fine paid by drugs firm Pfizer in 2009 in relation to marketing fraud charges.

Peston believes that up to four BP staff could be arrested in relation to the tragedy, while other reports indicate two BP staff are set to be charged with manslaughter.

The British integrated oil company confirmed on Thursday that it is close to a deal with the Department of Justice regarding resolutions of all claims against it. BP is also in advanced discussions with the US Securities & Exchange Commission over a settlement.

JH

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