Boeing violated deal that avoided prosecution after 737 Max crashes, DOJ says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has determined that Boeing violated a regulation that allowed the company to avoid criminal prosecution after two fatal crashes involving its 737 Max plane, prosecutors told a federal judge Tuesday.

It is now up to the Ministry of Justice to assess the advisability of filing a complaint against the aircraft manufacturer. Prosecutors will tell the court no later than July 7 how they plan to proceed, the Justice Department said.

Boeing did not make changes to prevent it from violating federal anti-fraud laws — a condition of the 2021 settlement, Glenn Leon, chief of the fraud section of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a statement. letter.

The move means Boeing could be prosecuted “for any federal criminal violations of which the United States is aware,” including the fraud charge the company hoped to avoid with the $2.5 billion settlement, it said. the Ministry of Justice.

However, it is unclear whether the government will pursue the manufacturing giant.

“The government is determining how it will proceed in this matter,” the Justice Department said in the court filing.

Investigations into 2018 And 2019 the crashes pointed to a flight control system that Boeing added to the Max without informing pilots or airlines. Boeing downplayed the system, then only revised it after the second crash.

The Justice Department investigated Boeing and settled the case in January 2021. After secret negotiations, the government agreed not to prosecute Boeing for defrauding the United States by misleading regulators who approved the plane.

In exchange, the company paid $2.5 billion – a $243.6 million fine, a $500 million victim compensation fund and nearly $1.8 billion to airlines including the Max planes were grounded.

Boeing has been the subject of civil suits, congressional investigations and massive damage to its operations since the accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

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