Saffron Restaurants reservation DOJ accuses Boeing of violating 2021 agreement, considers criminal charges for up to 737 crashes: Company: Business Times

DOJ accuses Boeing of violating 2021 agreement, considers criminal charges for up to 737 crashes: Company: Business Times

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has informed a federal judge that Boeing may have violated a 2021 agreement that shielded the company from criminal prosecution after two deadly 737 Max crashes abroad that killed 346 people. In a lawsuit on Tuesday, the DOJ alleged that Boeing failed “to design, implement and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of U.S. fraud laws in the course of its operations.”

While the government has not yet decided whether to pursue charges against Boeing, the filing marks a significant development in the case. Attorneys representing the families of the crash victims have expressed hope that the DOJ will take further action to hold the plane maker accountable.

Paul Cassell, an attorney for the victims’ families and a law professor at the University of Utah College of Law, said: “This is a positive first step, and it will be a long time coming for the families. But we have to look further. action by 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.

Boeing acknowledged taking note of the DOJ’s decision and stated that it plans to respond. In a statement to USA TODAY, the company said: “We believe we have complied with the terms of that agreement and look forward to the opportunity to respond with the Department on this matter. As we do so, we will work with the utmost transparency, as we have throughout the entire term of the agreement, including in response to their questions following the Alaska Airlines 1282 accident.”

The 2021 deferred prosecution agreement between Boeing and the federal government was reached after two crashes of 737 Max jets that killed 346 people. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing agreed to pay a $2.5 billion settlement and abide by the custodial provisions in exchange for the DOJ dropping the fraud conspiracy charges after three years. The three-year period, overseen by a federal judge in Texas, was set to expire in July and would have resulted in the DOJ closing the case if it had determined that Boeing had fully complied with the conditions.

However, in the letter filed Tuesday, federal prosecutors argued that Boeing “breached its obligations” under the deferred prosecution agreement and is now subject to prosecution for any federal criminal violation. The DOJ stated that it is “determining how to proceed in this case” and that investigators are no longer bound by the 2021 agreement, allowing for a broader investigation into the aircraft manufacturer.

The news comes more than five months after an Alaska Airlines 737 Max lost a door plug during a flight in January, prompting congressional and federal investigations. Although the DOJ letter made no mention of the Alaska Airlines incident, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to CBS News in March that prosecutors were investigating whether anything that led to or contributed to the outburst could have influenced could be on the deferred prosecution agreement.

Boeing has until June 13 to respond to the DOJ’s allegations, and their explanation will be used as prosecutors consider their next step. The DOJ plans to notify the court by July 7 on how it plans to proceed, which could lead to criminal charges against the company.

Lawyers representing the families of the crash victims have welcomed the DOJ’s decision, with Robert A. Clifford stating: “This is a way for Boeing to be held criminally responsible in court. That’s what the families wanted .They want answers to what is really going on.” what happened during the crashes and to protect the safety of the public.”

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