Business|Top Story

Boeing to Plead Guilty to Fraud Conspiracy Charge Over 737 Max Crashes

FILE PHOTO: Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are assembled at the company’s plant in Renton, Washington, U.S. June 25, 2024. Jennifer Buchanan/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Boeing has agreed to plead guilty to a criminal fraud conspiracy charge after the US government found that the company violated a reform deal following two fatal crashes involving its 737 Max planes, which resulted in the deaths of 346 passengers and crew members.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that Boeing would also pay a criminal fine of $243.6 million (£190 million). However, the families of the crash victims have criticized this as a “sweetheart deal” that would allow Boeing to avoid full accountability for the deaths.

The settlement is pending approval by a US judge. By pleading guilty, Boeing will avoid a criminal trial, which the victims’ families have been advocating for.

Boeing has faced ongoing scrutiny over its safety record since the two near-identical crashes of 737 Max aircraft in 2018 and 2019, leading to a global grounding of the plane for over a year. In 2021, prosecutors charged Boeing with conspiracy to defraud regulators, alleging that the company had misled the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about its MCAS flight control system, which played a role in both crashes.

The 2021 agreement allowed Boeing to avoid prosecution if it paid a penalty and completed a three-year period of increased monitoring and reporting. However, in January, shortly before the monitoring period was set to end, an incident involving an Alaska Airlines-operated Boeing plane raised further concerns about Boeing’s safety improvements. A door panel blew out shortly after takeoff, forcing the jet to land. No injuries were reported.

In May, the DoJ found that Boeing had violated the terms of the agreement, opening the door to potential prosecution. Boeing’s decision to plead guilty is a significant mark against the firm, which is a prominent military contractor for the US government and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial jets.

It remains unclear how Boeing’s criminal record will impact its contracting business. Typically, the government bars or suspends firms with criminal records from participating in bids but can grant waivers.


Kindly share this story:
Kindly share this story:
Share on whatsapp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on facebook
Top News

Related Articles