DOJ says Boeing did not sue after 737 Max crash because of breach of contract

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has determined Boeing violated a settlement that allowed the company to avoid criminal prosecution after two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max planes, prosecutors told a federal judge Tuesday.

The judiciary must now weigh whether to file charges against the planemaker. Prosecutors will tell the court after July 7 how they plan to proceed, the Justice Department said.

Boeing failed to make changes to prevent violations of federal anti-fraud laws — a condition of the 2021 settlement, Glenn Lyons, chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division’s fraud division, said in a letter.

The Justice Department said Boeing could be prosecuted for “any federal criminal violation known to the United States,” including a fraud charge the company had sought to avoid a $2.5 billion settlement.

However, it is unclear whether the government will prosecute the manufacturing company.

“It is up to the government to decide how to proceed in this matter,” the Justice Department filed in court.

Inquiries about 2018 And 2019 It pointed to a flight control system that Boeing added to the Max without telling pilots or airlines. Boeing underestimated the importance of the system and then did not replace it after the second crash.

The Department of Justice did Boeing and investigated Settled the case in January 2021. After secret negotiations, the government agreed not to prosecute Boeing on charges of defrauding the United States by deceiving regulators who had approved the flight.

In exchange, the company paid $2.5 billion – $243.6 million in fines, $500 million in victim compensation funds, and nearly $1.8 billion to the airlines whose Max jets were grounded.

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Boeing faced civil lawsuits, Congressional hearings and major damage to its business from accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

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