Saffron Restaurants reservation Boeing violated a deal that avoided prosecution

Boeing violated a deal that avoided prosecution

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Boeing has violated a settlement that allowed the company to avoid criminal charges following two fatal crashes involving its 737 Max plane more than five years ago, the Justice Department told a federal judge on Tuesday.


What you need to know

  • The Justice Department has found that Boeing violated a settlement that allowed the company to avoid criminal charges following two fatal crashes involving its 737 Max aircraft
  • It is now up to the Ministry of Justice to consider whether charges should be filed against the aircraft manufacturer
  • Glenn Leon, the head of the fraud division of the Justice Department’s criminal division, says Boeing has failed to make changes to prevent it from violating federal anti-fraud laws — a condition of the 2021 settlement
  • It is not clear whether the government will prosecute the manufacturing giant

It is now up to the Justice Department to decide whether to file charges against Boeing. Prosecutors will tell the court no later than July 7 how they plan to proceed, the department said.

New 737 Max jets crashed in Indonesia in 2018 and Ethiopia in 2019, killing 346 people. Boeing reached a $2.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department in January 2021 to avoid prosecution on a single count of fraud — misleading federal regulators who approved the plane. Boeing blamed two relatively low-level employees.

In a letter filed Tuesday in federal court in Texas, Glenn Leon, head of the Justice Department’s fraud division, said Boeing violated the terms of the settlement by failing to implement promised changes to address violations of federal anti-fraud laws. to detect and prevent.

The determination means Boeing could be prosecuted “for any federal criminal violation of which the United States is aware,” including the fraud charge the company hoped to avoid with the settlement, the Justice Department said.

However, it is not clear whether the government will prosecute Boeing.

“The government will determine how it will proceed in this case,” the Ministry of Justice said in the official report. Boeing has until June 13 to respond to the government’s allegations, and the department said it will consider the company’s explanation “in determining whether to pursue charges.”

Boeing Co., based in Arlington, Virginia, disputed the Justice Department’s findings.

“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,” a Boeing spokesperson said in a statement. “As we do this, 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.”

Boeing has been under renewed scrutiny since the Alaska Airlines flight in January, when a door plug blew out of a 737 Max, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the plane. The company is conducting several investigations into the blowout and the quality of production. The FBI has told passengers on the flight that they may be victims of a crime.

Prosecutors said they will meet on May 31 with families of passengers killed in the two Max crashes. Family members were angry and disappointed after a similar meeting last month.

Paul Cassell, an attorney representing families of passengers in the second crash, said the Justice Department’s determination that Boeing violated the settlement terms is “a positive first step that will last a long time for the families.”

“But we need to see further action from the DOJ to hold Boeing accountable, and plan to use our meeting on May 31 to explain in more detail what we believe would be a satisfactory resolution to Boeing’s ongoing criminal conduct” , Cassell said.

Investigations into the crashes pointed to a flight control system that Boeing added to the Max without notifying pilots or airlines. Boeing downplayed the system’s significance and only revised it after the second crash.

After secret negotiations, the government agreed not to prosecute Boeing on charges of defrauding the United States by misleading regulators about the flight system. The settlement included a $243.6 million fine, a $500 million victim compensation fund and nearly $1.8 billion to airlines whose Max jets were grounded for nearly two years.

Boeing has faced civil lawsuits, congressional investigations and massive damage to its operations since the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.