How the money from the BP fine will be split - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

How the money from the BP fine will be split

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New Orleans, La - The settlement, which is subject to approval by a federal judge, includes payments of nearly $2.4 billion to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, $350 million to the National Academy of Sciences and about $500 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused BP of misleading investors by lowballing the amount of crude that was spilling.

It also includes nearly $1.3 billion in fines.

"This marks the largest single criminal fine and the largest total criminal resolution in the history of the United States," Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference in New Orleans. He said much of the money will be used to restore the Gulf.

Holder said the criminal investigation is still going on. Before Thursday, the only person charged in the disaster was a former BP engineer who was arrested in April on obstruction of justice charges, accused of deleting text messages about the company's handling of the spill.

Greenpeace blasted the settlement as a slap on the wrist. "This fine amounts to a rounding error for a corporation the size of BP," the environmental group said.

The largest previous corporate criminal penalty assessed by the Justice Department was a $1.2 billion fine against drug maker Pfizer in 2009.

Nick McGregor, an oil analyst at Redmayne-Bentley Stockbrokers, said the settlement would be seen as "an expensive positive."

"This scale of bill is unpleasant," he said. But "the worst-case scenario for BP would be an Exxon Valdez-style decade of litigation. I think that is the outcome they are trying to avoid."

On the New York Stock Exchange, BP rose 14 cents Thursday to close at $40.30.

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