DOJ says Boeing violated the $2.5 billion settlement to avoid prosecution

The Department of Justice (DOJ) told a federal judge on Tuesday that Boeing violated a settlement that allowed it to avoid criminal charges following the two crashes of 737 Max planes a few years ago.

According to The Associated Press, the DOJ must now figure out whether to file charges against the aviation giant. According to the ministry, prosecutors will inform the court of their plans in early July.

Glenn Leon, chief of the DOJ's criminal fraud division, said Tuesday in a letter filed in federal court in Texas, Boeing violated the terms of a $2.5 billion settlement from January 2021 related to the two crashes of 737 Max jets in 2018 and 2019.

According to the company, Boeing breached the deal to avoid prosecution “by failing to design, implement and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of U.S. fraud laws in its operations .”

The finding that Boeing violated the terms of the settlement by failing to implement the changes could result in the company being prosecuted “for any federal criminal violation of which the United States is aware,” the DOJ said.

Boeing continues to face high-profile safety issues and public criticism, most recently in January when a door plug blew off a 737 Max 9 plane during an Alaska Airlines flight.

Boeing confirmed that it has received notice from the Department of Justice and a request for response regarding the alleged violations of the non-prosecution agreement.

“We believe we have complied with the terms of that agreement and look forward to the opportunity to respond to this matter with the ministry,” the ministry 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.”

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