Former BP executive David Rainey. Image courtesy of Think Progress/Youtube.

A federal jury on Friday acquitted a former BP executive of lying to federal agents about the size of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill.

David Rainey, a former BP vice president of exploration for the Gulf, was facing up to five years in prison for allegedly making fraudulent statements to agents from the Environmental Protection Agency and the FBI.

According to Reuters, attorneys with the Justice Department presented text messages and witness testimony they said proved that Rainey deliberately understated the spill’s flow rate.

Jurors weren’t persuaded and found Rainey not guilty of making a fraudulent statement to federal agents.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt also dismissed a separate charge against Rainey on Monday for obstructing a congressional inquiry into Deepwater Horizon spill.

Rainey was indicted in November 2012 during a House subcommittee investigation into the 2010 Macando well blowout that killed 11 people and caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

He was charged with one count of obstructing a congressional investigation and one count of making false statements about his spill rate calculations for the accident.

Rainey had pleaded not guilty to both charges.

BP is still facing up to $13.7 billion in Clean Water Act penalties tied to the Deepwater Horizon accident.


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