Boeing to plead guilty to avoid criminal trial over 737 Max crashes

Boeing to plead guilty to avoid criminal trial over 737 Max crashes

Boeing will plead guilty to one count of criminal fraud stemming from two crashes of 737 Max jets that killed 346 people after the government concluded the company breached an agreement that had shielded it from prosecution for more than three years, the Justice Department said late Sunday.

Federal prosecutors last week gave Boeing the option of pleading guilty and paying a fine as part of its sentence, or going to trial on the criminal charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Prosecutors accused the US aerospace giant of misleading regulators who licensed the plane and the training requirements for pilots to fly it.

The settlement, which still requires approval from a federal judge to take effect, calls for Boeing to pay an additional $243.6 million in penalties. That’s the same amount it paid under the 2021 settlement that the company breached, according to the Justice Department. An independent observer will be appointed to oversee its safety and quality procedures for three years. The settlement also requires Boeing to invest at least $455 million in its safety and compliance programs.

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