Criminal charges for Gulf spill reportedly readied against BP

The Justice Department is preparing the first criminal charges against British oil giant BP in connection to the devastating Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 that killed 11 workers and sent nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The charges would be focused on BP employees, including several Houston-based engineers, and would deal with whether BP provided false information to regulators about the risks of drilling at the Gulf of Mexico well, The Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

An announcement of these charges, which carry a penalty of up to five years in prison as well as a fine, is expected early next year, but the Justice Department has still not made a final decision on whether to move forward, the report says.

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