Boeing Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud U.S. Government Over Fatal Crashes

Boeing Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud U.S. Government Over Fatal Crashes

Key Points:

  • Boeing agrees to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.
  • Boeing will pay a $487.2 million fine and invest at least $455 million in safety and compliance over three years.
  • Boeing’s 2021 agreement included $1.77 billion in compensation and $500 million for a crash victim fund.
  • FAA AEG identified MCAS as the failure point, and Boeing pilots concealed changes to the system.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Boeing have agreed that Boeing will plead guilty to a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government. This plea stems from the investigation into two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people. The New York Times reports that the plea deal follows accusations that Boeing violated a previous agreement with the DOJ.

In May, the DOJ announced that Boeing breached its 2021 settlement, which included penalties, compensation, and mandated safety improvements. A cabin panel blew off an Alaska Airlines flight months earlier, raising concerns about Boeing’s adherence to safety protocols. On June 30, the DOJ offered Boeing a week to accept a plea deal or face trial.

Boeing’s 2021 agreement required the company to make significant safety changes and refrain from wrongdoing for three years. The DOJ accused Boeing of violating this agreement and gave the company the choice to accept a plea deal or proceed to trial. Boeing has accepted the plea deal, which awaits court approval.

Under the new agreement, Boeing will pay a fine of $487.2 million, although some of this amount may be offset by previous payments made under the 2021 settlement. Additionally, Boeing must invest at least $455 million in safety and compliance initiatives over the next three years. The DOJ will appoint a third-party monitor to oversee Boeing’s implementation of these measures.

The plea deal has faced criticism from victims’ families and their representatives, who argue that it does not adequately address the gravity of Boeing’s actions. Paul Cassell, a lawyer representing some of the families, condemned the agreement, stating, “This sweetheart deal fails to recognize that because of Boeing’s conspiracy, 346 people died. Through crafty lawyering between Boeing and the DOJ, the deadly consequences of Boeing’s crime are being hidden.”

In the 2021 agreement, Boeing committed to paying its customers $1.77 billion in compensation after the 737 Max plane was grounded for 18 months. This deal also included $243.6 million in fines and a $500 million crash-victim fund for the heirs, relatives, and legal beneficiaries of the passengers killed in the crashes near Indonesia and Ethiopia.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Evaluation Group (FAA AEG) identified the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) as the likely point of failure in both crashes. Two Boeing 737 Max technical pilots had deceived the FAA AEG about crucial changes to the MCAS two years before the first crash. If approved, this new agreement will mark Boeing’s first felony charge in decades.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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