Boeing to plead guilty to defrauding US regulators

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This agreement follows prosecutors’ findings that Boeing violated a previous settlement related to the crashes …reports Asian Lite News

Boeing announced Monday that it has reached a deal with the US Department of Justice regarding the two fatal crashes involving its 737 MAX planes, in which court documents reveal the company will plead guilty to fraud, media reported.

This agreement follows prosecutors’ findings that Boeing violated a previous settlement related to the crashes that claimed 346 lives in Ethiopia and Indonesia over five years ago.

“We have reached an agreement in principle on terms of a resolution with the Justice Department, subject to the finalisation and approval of specific terms,” Boeing stated to AFP.

According to court filings in Texas on Sunday, Boeing agreed to plead guilty to “conspiracy to defraud the United States” during the MAX certification process. Under the terms, Boeing will face fines and commit a minimum of $455 million to enhance compliance and safety programs. Compensation for victims’ families will be determined by the court.

Boeing’s current legal issues stem from the Department of Justice’s determination in mid-May that the company had failed to fulfill requirements outlined in a 2021 deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) aimed at improving its compliance and ethics program post-MAX crashes.

Families of the crash victims expressed strong dissatisfaction with the settlement, with Clifford Law’s senior partner Robert A. Clifford stating, “Much evidence over the last five years demonstrates Boeing’s continued prioritization of profits over safety.” The families plan to contest the plea deal in court.

The original DPA, announced in January 2021, resolved charges that Boeing had knowingly misled the Federal Aviation Administration during the MAX certification process, requiring Boeing to pay $2.5 billion in fines and restitution while granting immunity from criminal prosecution.

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