More than 2 1/2 years on, the BP oil spill is still ravaging the food chain and the environment, and continues to have incalculable economic ramifications. Settlements on criminal claims against BP are finally working their way through the U.S. justice system, however. The record $4.5 billion tops the previous record paid out by Pfizer for marketing fraud. As reported by the Associated Press, the mounting penalties are not only monetary:
Two men who worked for BP during the 2010 Gulf oil spill disaster have been charged with manslaughter and a third with lying to federal investigators, according to indictments made public Thursday, hours after BP announced it was paying $4.5 billion in a settlement with the U.S. government over the disaster. (Source)
As the video report below highlights, the $4.5 billion appears to be only the beginning of financial penalties. If properly fined under The Clean Water Act, the company could be hit with up to $21 billion in additional penalties.
BP has tried to sponsor ads for tourism to the Gulf by injecting $100 million into a campaign to make people believe that the region is the “Best Place” for sunny and healthy living. With such a claim, perhaps marketing fraud should be added to their list of crimes.