Jan. date to rule on BP $4.5B plea deal over spill - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Jan. date to rule on BP $4.5B plea deal over spill

MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge will decide next month whether to accept a plea deal that calls for BP PLC to pay a record $4.5 billion in penalties for its role in a deadly 2010 rig explosion and the massive oil spill it triggered in the Gulf of Mexico.

To resolve a Justice Department probe, the London-based oil giant agreed last month to plead guilty to criminal charges involving the deaths of 11 workers and to lying to Congress about how much oil spilled from its blown-out well.

After a closed-door meeting Tuesday with attorneys, U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance scheduled a Jan. 29 hearing where she will either accept or reject BP's plea agreement with the government.

BP can withdraw its agreement if she rejects the deal. If she accepts it, Vance must impose a sentence that adheres to the agreed-upon terms.

The penalties that BP agreed to pay include the biggest criminal fine in U.S. history.

The proposed settlement doesn't resolve separate criminal charges against four current or former BP employees.

Vance ordered federal probation officials to conduct a presentence investigation and submit a report to her by Jan. 14. She also ordered BP and the Justice Department to submit a joint memo by Jan. 16 that explains why the plea deal "adequately reflects the seriousness of the offenses and accepting the agreement satisfies the statutory purposes of sentencing."

The settlement 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 from its blown-out well.

It also includes nearly $1.3 billion in fines. The largest previous corporate criminal penalty assessed by the Justice Department was a $1.2 billion fine against drug maker Pfizer in 2009.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:23:15 GMT
    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    more>>

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    more>>
  • Delta passenger fined $500 for apple

    Delta passenger fined $500 for apple

    Saturday, April 21 2018 1:01 PM EDT2018-04-21 17:01:03 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:45 PM EDT2018-04-21 22:45:42 GMT
    adlock's healthy snack turned into a tough reality to stomach. (Source: KDVR/CNN)adlock's healthy snack turned into a tough reality to stomach. (Source: KDVR/CNN)

    Crystal Tadlock is not happy about the fine she said

    more>>

    Crystal Tadlock is not happy about the fine she said

    more>>
  • 'Austin Powers' star Verne Troyer dies at age 49

    'Austin Powers' star Verne Troyer dies at age 49

    Saturday, April 21 2018 4:51 PM EDT2018-04-21 20:51:28 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 2:33 AM EDT2018-04-22 06:33:39 GMT

    Verne Troyer, an actor famous for his role as Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" trilogy, has passed away.

    more>>

    Verne Troyer, an actor famous for his role as Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" trilogy, has passed away.

    more>>
Powered by Frankly