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Justice Department says Boeing breached 2021 agreement

of Ministry of Justice Boeing said it violated its obligations under a 2021 agreement to protect the beleaguered company from criminal prosecution after two 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people.

The Justice Department said Tuesday in a filing in federal court in Texas that Boeing failed to make changes to prevent violations of federal fraud laws.

The change was a condition of a deferred prosecution agreement the airlines reached in 2021.

The Justice Department said Boeing violated the agreement by “failing to design, implement, and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of U.S. fraud laws throughout its business activities.”

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A worker walks near a Boeing 737 aircraft outside a Boeing manufacturing facility in Renton, Washington, on February 5, 2024. (David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The ruling means Boeing could be prosecuted for “federal criminal violations known to the United States.”

It was not immediately clear whether the Justice Department will prosecute Boeing for past wrongdoing.

“The government is deciding how to proceed with this matter,” the Ministry of Justice said.

Paul Cassel, an attorney for the victims’ families and a law professor at the University of Utah, called it a “positive first step.”

“This is a positive first step, and it will be a long time coming for the families. However, we need to see further action from the Department of Justice to hold Boeing accountable and will continue to do so on May 31st. “We will explain in more detail what we believe will be a satisfactory remedy for Boeing’s ongoing criminal conduct,” Cassel said in a press release.

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Boeing’s manufacturing facility in Renton, Washington. (David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

In a statement to FOX News Digital, Boeing acknowledged receiving the notice from the Department of Justice and said it “believes it has complied with the terms.”

Boeing stated, “Today, we can confirm that we received a letter from the Department of Justice stating that the company has determined that Boeing has not fulfilled its obligations under the 2021 Deferred Prosecution Agreement and is requesting that the company take action.” Ta.

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“We believe we have complied with the terms of that agreement and look forward to the opportunity to respond to the Department regarding this matter,” Boeing added. “In doing so, we will engage with the Department with the utmost transparency, as we have throughout the life of the contract, including answering questions following the Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 incident.”

737 max-9 under construction

A worker walks past Boeing’s new 737 MAX-9 being built at its production facility in Renton, Washington. (Reuters/Jason Redmond/Reuters Photo)

The agreement was preceded by a two-year investigation by the Justice Department into whether Boeing withheld information about its 737 Max planes.

In 2021, Boeing agreed to pay $2.5 billion to resolve criminal investigations into its conduct over deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

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In October 2018, Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.

Similarly, the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crash in March 2019 killed 157 passengers.

In the agreement, Boeing promised to compensate victims’ families and overhaul its compliance practices.

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