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DOJ says Boeing faces criminal charge for violating deal over 737 Max crashes

Relatives hold a poster with faces of the victims of Ethiopia flight 302 outside a courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 26, 2023.

Enlarge / Relatives hold a poster with faces of the victims of Ethiopia flight 302 outside a courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 26, 2023. (credit: Getty Images | Shelby Tauber)

The US Department of Justice yesterday said it has determined that Boeing violated a 2021 agreement spurred by two fatal crashes and is now facing a potential criminal prosecution.

Boeing violated the agreement “by failing to design, implement, and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of the US fraud laws throughout its operations,” the DOJ said in a filing in US District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Because of this, “Boeing is subject to prosecution by the United States for any federal criminal violation of which the United States has knowledge,” the DOJ said.

The US government is still determining whether to initiate a prosecution and said it will make a decision by July 7. Under terms of the 2021 agreement, Boeing has 30 days to respond to the government’s notice.

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