The U.S. Justice Department asked BNP Paribas SA to pay more than $10 billion to resolve a criminal probe into allegations that the French bank evaded U.S. sanctions against Iran and other countries for years, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Sources told Reuters in May that BNP Paribas was in talks with U.S. authorities to pay more than $3 billion to resolve probes into whether the French bank violated sanctions on Iran, Sudan and other countries.

BNP Paribas was not immediately available for comment outside European business hours.

A final resolution of the investigation is likely weeks away, the Journal said, adding that it is possible the final settlement amount could be far less than $10 billion. (http://link.reuters.com/zab79v) (Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore)