A federal official says a deal expected to be announced Thursday will resolve a criminal probe into how General Motors handled defective ignition switches.

The official spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publically. The official confirmed that the deal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, would include a financial penalty of less than a billion dollars.

A U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara spokeswoman and General Motors spokesman Patrick Morrissey declined comment.

GM was aware of faulty ignition switches on Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars for more than a decade, but it did not recall them until 2014. Legislators have estimated at least 100 people were killed by the defect. A GM-created fund is compensating victims.

The automaker also faces civil litigation.