NEW ORLEANS -- Oil giant BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history, totaling billions of dollars, for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a person familiar with the deal said Thursday.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record about the deal, also said two BP employees face manslaughter charges over the death of 11 people in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that triggered the massive spill.
The person said BP will plead guilty to obstruction for lying to Congress about how much oil was pouring out of the ruptured well. The person declined to say exactly how much the fine in the billions of dollars would be.
BP made a net profit of $5.5 billion in the third quarter, it reported last month.
The largest previous corporate criminal penalty assessed by the Department of Justice was a $1.2 billion fine imposed on drug maker Pfizer in 2009.