Saffron Restaurants reservation Boeing Violated 2021 Deferred Prosecution Agreement: DOJ

Boeing Violated 2021 Deferred Prosecution Agreement: DOJ

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The exterior of the Boeing Company headquarters is seen on March 25, 2024 in Arlington, Virginia. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

(WASHINGTON) – The Justice Department has notified a federal court in Texas that it has found that Boeing violated a non-prosecution agreement that allowed the company to escape criminal charges over two fatal crashes of 737 Max planes in 2018 and 2019, according to a newly filed letter.

Federal prosecutors entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Boeing in January 2021, allowing the aircraft manufacturer to avoid criminal charges in exchange for following new safety obligations.

The DOJ stated in the letter that based on the violations of the agreement identified by the government, Boeing is now subject to prosecution, although the department is “still determining how to proceed in this matter.”

In the letter, federal prosecutors say the aerospace giant failed “to design, implement and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of U.S. fraud laws in its operations.”

The DOJ has given Boeing until June 13 to respond to their determination.

A total of 346 people were killed in the fatal Boeing crashes in October 2018 and March 2019.

The first crash on October 29, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia, killed all 189 passengers and crew. The second crash, on March 10, 2019, occurred in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when a Boeing plane crashed minutes after takeoff, killing 157 people on board.

Both crashes preceded the Alaska Airlines incident earlier this year, when a door plug fell from the fuselage of a newer model Boeing 737 Max 9 after departure.

In response to the letter, Boeing issued a statement to ABC News saying, “We believe we have complied with the terms of that agreement and look forward to the opportunity to respond to this matter with the Department.”

Boeing continued, stating: “We will work with the Department with the utmost transparency, as we have throughout the term of the agreement, including in response to their questions following the Alaska Airlines 1282 accident.”

In April, relatives of the victims of the 2019 crash in Ethiopia met with prosecutors in Washington DC to urge the DOJ to prosecute Boeing.

Paul G. Cassell, the attorney representing the families of the Boeing crash victims, called the DOJ’s announcement a “promising first step” in a statement to ABC News.

“This is a positive first step, and it will be a long time coming for the families,” Cassell said. “But we need to see further action from the DOJ to hold Boeing accountable, and plan to use our May 31 meeting to explain in more detail what we believe would be a satisfactory resolution to Boeing’s ongoing criminal conduct.”

In the letter, the DOJ said it will meet with the families of Boeing crash victims on May 31.

The victims’ families were reportedly not informed in advance. Federal prosecutors were expected to file the letter on Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the situation.

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