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DOJ claims Boeing violated five-year settlement that helped it avoid prosecution

The aerospace company reached the $2.5 billion settlement deal with the DOJ related to a fraud allegation of misleading the federal regulators who approved the Max 737 planes. In exchange for the payment, they would not be prosecuted on the fraud charge.

Published: May 14, 2024 10:22pm

Updated: May 14, 2024 10:49pm

The Justice Department on Tuesday told a federal judge that Boeing violated a settlement from five years ago, after two plane crashes in 2018 and 2019, which helped them avoid prosecution.

The aerospace company reached the $2.5 billion settlement deal with the DOJ related to a fraud allegation of misleading the federal regulators who approved the Max 737 planes. In exchange for the payment, they would not be prosecuted on the fraud charge, according to the Associated Press. One plane had crashed in Indonesia in 2018, and the second occurred a year later in Ethiopia, which together killed 346 people.

Now the Justice Department claims the company violated the terms of the agreement, by failing to make changes it promised, that would detect and prevent violations of federal anti-fraud laws. But the DOJ said it is still deciding on whether to prosecute the company for the violations. It is expected to reach that decision by July 7.

“The Government is determining how it will proceed in this matter,” the Justice Department said in the court filing, per the AP. Boeing, which has denied violating the settlement, will have until June 13 to formally respond to the government’s accusation.

“We believe that we have honored the terms of that agreement, and look forward to the opportunity to respond to the Department on this issue,” a Boeing spokesperson told the outlet. “As we do so, we will engage with the Department with the utmost transparency, as we have throughout the entire term of the agreement.”

The allegations come as Boeing faces scrutiny from other incidents related to mechanical malfunctions and questions over the quality and safety of the planes. Boeing has also faced civil lawsuits as well as federal and congressional investigations in response to the incidents.

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