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story.lead_photo.caption Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon in this April 21, 2010, file image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, - Photo by AP/U.S. Coast Guard, File

— Oil giant BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history, totaling $4.5 billion, for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP also said Thursday that it has agreed to plead guilty to 11 felony counts related to workers' deaths.

The payments will be made in installments to the U.S. Department of Justice over a period five years, the London-based company said in a statement. BP will also pay to $525 million to settle charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The London-based company pleaded to a total of 14 charges including 11 felony counts of misconduct or neglect of ships officers and one count of obstruction of congress.

The Deepwater Horizon rig, 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, sank after the April 20, 2010, explosion. The well on the sea floor spewed an estimated 206 million gallons of crude oil, soiling sensitive tidal estuaries and beaches, killing wildlife and shutting vast areas of the Gulf to commercial fishing.

BP to pay U.S. billions for Gulf spill

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 source said Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.
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Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Information for this article was contributed by Bloomberg News and The Associated Press.

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  • Jackabbott
    November 15, 2012 at 8:07 a.m.

    Sounds like this was handled right. Too bad Eric Holder did not do the same thing with the Bush's and Obama's buddies and contributors from Wall Street.

  • JIMBOB47
    November 15, 2012 at 10:02 a.m.

    And just WHERE does this big criminal payment go??? Didn't they already ante up with billions to the 'relief' fund that was 'controlled/disbursed' by the Feds? If it goes into the Fed coffer, those that are the 'victims' of this crime will never see it.

  • ArkansasObserver
    November 15, 2012 at 10:18 a.m.

    It's just extortion from a company that gets its revenues from its customers. Your gas bill goes up so BP can send tribute to the government. It's a way our government can increase revenue from its citizens without calling it a tax. The problem with our news media these days is that they are either not interested, or are afraid of telling the truth in these matters for fear of government retribution. Welcome to Venezuela folks!

  • FreeSpiritMan
    November 15, 2012 at 10:40 a.m.

    ArkansasObserver.......says welcome to Venezuela folks! This is true with the Citizens United SC ruling alowing any US Corporation to contribute unlimited funds to a superpac to buy an election. Citgo is a US Corporation owned by Venezuela aka Hugo Chevez who could donate to a superpac backing a candidate for US congress and noone whould know where the money came from. And ArkansasObserver sees nothing wrong with a foreign country buying a congressman, but is very oposed to the US receiving payment from a foreign corporation who desimatted our gulf and coast. This is why Romney lost, the moderate and independents are sick of the right wing nut cases like ArkansasObserver and Jimbob47 who try to come up with a conspiracy theorie everytime the administration take some action, any action. But, hey, thats fine let em go ahead, they are sinking the ship that the GOP in on these days. They did not get their way in the election so they are not going to play in the same sand box with the rest of us.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:48 a.m.

    There should be some type of public accountingfor WHERE this money is being distributed... I have to show every CENT to the IRS A$$wipes for the simplest things...

  • LevitiCuss
    November 15, 2012 at 11:18 a.m.

    Corporations are people, my friend. People who get to kill other people in order to make money. Unlike you. So I guess that means they are better than you, or at the very least, above the law.

  • onlyGodmatters
    November 15, 2012 at 11:23 a.m.

    This should put a big dent in the deficit. Yay for President Obama!!! Yes, I said it. If it had occurred under another president's administration, he/she would have gotten credit. So I'm giving credit where credit is due.

  • ArkansasObserver
    November 15, 2012 at 11:53 a.m.

    If you don't have the mental capacity to understand that BP will simply collect more from its customers to pay the $4.5 Billion fine to our government, then you should be embarrassed. If you have a problem with superpacs, take it up with the Supreme Court or Obama and Axelrod, who used them effectively. Conspiracy? No, just a fact. The real reason Obama was able to win came down to his buying votes with goverment money from a group of people who, like you, are either too selfish to make your own money, or too stupid to understand they are being bought or simply don't care about the future of this nation.

  • arky12
    November 15, 2012 at 11:55 a.m.

    And yet it's highly doubtful that anyone will go to prison. Prison is only for the poor in this country, not the rich and powerful. And, they are still drilling in the Gulf after this outrage. They are a foreign corporation, why are they not barred from conducting business in the U.S.?

  • SPA
    November 15, 2012 at 1:36 p.m.

    Thank you to the Obama Administration. He insisted on accountability and now the USA has $4.5 billion in payback for this horrible event. He got a lot of flak about it, but now it's paying off.