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Top stories 2013: #9 BP pleads guilty in oil disaster

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It took some two and a half years, but 2013 saw BP plead guilty to serious criminal charges in the 2010 oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal included record criminal fines for a corporation.

Judge Sarah Vance called it "by far the largest criminal penalty ever."

BP pled guilty to criminal counts which included:

-11 counts of manslaughter-- one for each of the men killed on the rig that exploded in the Gulf

-1 count of violating the Clean Water Act

-1 count for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

-1 felony count of obstruction, misleading Congress about how much oil was spewing from the well

The oil giant agreed to pay $4 billion in criminal penalties on top of the billions in payments to businesses, governments and individuals impacted.

In court, BP American Vice President Luke Keller apologized to the victims.

"BP knows there is nothing we can say to diminish their loss... We are deeply sorry."

While the criminal case is over, a civil trial has not ended.  A judge could fine BP another $18 billion if the company is found to be grossly negligent in the disaster.  The federal government insists that is the case, BP has denied that.

The Gulf oil disaster is the worst "spill" in U.S. History.

Click here to go to story #8...

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