A team of federal investigators is gathering in New Orleans to determine, among other things, whether BP was criminally cozy with federal regulators, and whether that helped cause the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The wide-ranging criminal probe will also focus on TransOcean and Halliburton, the Washington Post reports, but there’s little doubt who the big fish is. The FBI-run team, which also includes EPA and Coast Guard investigators, is known as the “BP Squad.”
Until now, the probe was thought to be focused purely on environmental laws, but now investigators are trying to determine if the companies paid off Minerals Management Service employees to look the other way. (Hint: There’s evidence). The probe could lead to big fines for the companies, and jail stints for their executives. In its earnings report last week, Halliburton revealed that the Justice Department had warned it not to make any “substantial” transfers of assets.