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US prosecutors recommend DOJ charge Boeing

The Justice Department must decide by early next month whether to indict aircraft maker Boeing after prosecutors recommended criminal charges be filed against the company.

In filing their recommendation, prosecutors said the company was suspected of failing to comply with a 2021 settlement agreement it made following two Boeing 737 Max crashes.

The Justice Department now has until July 7 to decide whether to indict Boeing.

Officials said Boeing allegedly violated a deferred prosecution agreement in May that protected the company from criminal charges, including fraud conspiracy charges, stemming from two fatal crashes of Boeing planes in 2018 and 2019.

Prosecutors have recommended that the Justice Department bring criminal charges against Boeing for failing to comply with the agreement. Reuters

Prosecutors said the company in May 2021 “failed to design, implement and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of U.S. fraud laws throughout its operations.”

But Boeing maintained at the time that it had fulfilled its contract.

“We believe we have complied with the terms of the agreement and look forward to the opportunity to respond to the Department of Defense on this matter,” Boeing said in a statement last month.

“In doing so, we intend to engage with the Department of Defense with the utmost transparency, as we have done throughout the life of the agreement, including in answering questions following the Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 disaster.”

The Justice Department has until July 7 to decide whether to indict Boeing. Reuters
Boeing said in a statement last month that it had properly complied with the terms of the agreement. Reuters

The 2021 deal spares Boeing from prosecution for allegedly defrauding the Federal Aviation Administration, on the condition that Boeing overhaul its compliance regime, submit regular reports and pay a $2.5 billion fine over the three-year life of the contract.

It’s unclear whether the Justice Department and Boeing could reach an out-of-court agreement to avoid prosecution. The two sides are discussing a settlement, and it’s unclear whether the Justice Department will move forward with charges against Boeing, two of the sources said. He told Reuters.

The potential criminal investigation comes as Boeing is in the midst of a tough fight following whistleblower allegations of cutting corners in its manufacturing processes and the shocking incident of a door plug exploding on an Alaska Airlines plane on January 5.

With post wire