April 24, 2012 | Mark Paradies

First Criminal Charges in BP Deepwater Horizon Accident Start at the Bottom

Who is the first person to face criminal charges in the BP Deepwater Horizon accident? A 50-year-old engineer named Kurt Mix.

What law did he break?

They say he deleted 200 text messages from his phone (destroyed evidence) about the size of the spill.

Seems BP was saying that the spill was 5000 barrels a day and there were texts saying the spill was more like 15,000 barrels per day.

Why is this important?

First, the top kill wouldn’t work if there was that much flow.

Second, the size of the fine for BP is scaled by the amount of oil that leaked. The fine could be 3 times as big … or maybe more … depending on what estimates are used.

The article (below) says that that Mix had received orders from BP to save the messages.

Is this a common Justice Department tactic to charge lower level employees with obstruction of justice to get them to implicate higher ups? I guess we will see … the saga continues.

Here’s a link to news about the charges:


What does your company do to make sure that evidence isn’t lost after an accident?

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