According to documents filed in Federal court in New Orleans, BP is accusing Halliburton of having “intentionally destroyed evidence” related to the explosion aboard an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that led to the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The court filing is related to civil litigation involving the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in April 2010.
While the proceedings in Federal court in New Orleans are part of civil litigation, these allegations by BP have criminal implications. The federal government has already done an investigation into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; however, these allegations by BP could launch a new angle on a possible criminal investigation by a federal investigative body.
The destruction of evidence, called spoliation of evidence, can involve white collar criminal charges for those who took part in any cover up. Spoliation of evidence is the intentional or negligent withholding, hiding, altering, or destroying of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding.