Boeing may be Charged by US Prosecutors for Violating 2021 Settlement, According to Sources

By Jose Resurreccion

Jun 24, 2024 12:52 AM EDT

Boeing may be Charged by US Prosecutors for Violating 2021 Settlement, According to Sources
Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun arrives as family members of those killed in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 crashes hold up photographs of their loved ones before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Investigations Subcommittee hearing on Boeing's broken safety culture on Capitol Hill on June 18, 2024 in Washington, DC.
(Photo : Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

Prosecutors recommended that the US Department of Justice file charges against Boeing after discovering that the aviation company allegedly violated a settlement made in 2021 that shielded it from criminal charges.

Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters about the recommendation on the condition of anonymity, adding that the prosecutors' recommendation was a factor in the department's decision to make it by July 7.

One of the two sources emphasized that prosecutors were also considering the company's current issues.

Other alternative courses of action the DOJ could consider were extending the 2021 settlement by a year, proposing new, stricter terms, or forcing Boeing to admit its wrongdoing by pleading guilty.

The sources also said that the two sides were discussing a potential resolution to the department's investigation and that there was no guarantee that charges would be filed.

Deliberations within the Justice Department about the matter are continuing, they added.

VCPost recently reported that the families of the victims of the 737 MAX crashes urged the DOJ to issue a $24.8 billion fine against Boeing in addition to prosecution.

Separately, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun faced a Senate inquiry and victims' families, defending the company's safety standards and apologizing for the loss of life involved in the accidents.

READ NEXT: Victims' Families Urge DOJ to Fine Boeing $24.8 Billion, Prosecute Ex-CEO for 737 Max Disasters

Factors Influencing the Justice Department's Actions

It could be recalled that the Justice Department alleged last month that Boeing breached its obligations in a 2021 agreement that prevented the aviation firm from facing criminal prosecution over a series of fatal accidents involving the Boeing 737 MAX in 2018 and 2019 and defrauded the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over them.

The agreement stipulated that the company must overhaul its compliance practices and submit regular reports. It also stated that Boeing must pay $2.5 billion to settle the investigation.

It is understood that recent events exacerbated the situation, such as door plug and window failures, several engine fire incidents, and even the complications and delays experienced by its Starliner capsule, which is docked to the International Space Station as of this writing as part of a crewed flight test.

While Boeing declined to comment on the latest developments, it previously said it "honored the terms" of the 2021 deferred prosecution agreement, which had a three-year term. It also disagreed with the Justice Department's determination that the firm violated the statement.

A representative for the Justice Department also declined to comment on the matter.

READ MORE: Boeing CEO Defends Safety Standards and Apologizes to Families of 737 Max Crash Victims During Senate Hearing

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