Halliburton's criminal liability related to the 2010 BP oil spill was resolved on Thursday when US District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo accepted a plea deal requiring the company to pay $200,000 for destroying evidence. That fine is the maximum for the misdemeanor charge, and Milazzo agreed that the punishment "adequately reflects the seriousness of the offense." The company will also donate $55 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
As the Guardian explains, this ends Halliburton's criminal liability in the BP oil spill, though individual employees could still face charges. On that note, a former Halliburton manager was also charged with destroying evidence on Thursday. Anthony Badalamenti is accused of instructing two employees to destroy data in the middle of a post-spill review — the same act that cost his former employer $200,000 today.
Halliburton will not face any charges related to the cause of the disaster, unlike BP and Transocean Limited — both companies have already agreed to pay $4 billion and $400 million, respectively, in plea deals related to those criminal charges. Phase two of the criminal trial, which will examine the extent of the oil spill and BP's attempts to stop it, begins at the end of the month. But Halliburton might not be done paying out money for its role in the disaster: the company still faces some possibly substantial civil penalties in a separate federal case.