US Prosecutors Recommend Criminal Charges Against Boeing

( – U.S. airplane manufacturer Boeing is potentially facing criminal charges if Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) under Attorney General Merrick Garland decides to prosecute the company for criminally violating a previous settlement agreement that abrogated the possibility.

The DOJ previously agreed in 2021 to not bring criminal charges against the company for two fatal airplane crashes involving its 737 MAX jets in 2018 and 2019. Those two events resulted in the deaths of 346 people.

Now Texas-based prosecutors are recommending the DOJ prosecute, suggesting the company isn’t in accord with the agreement. Prosecution was only deferred as long as Boeing designed, implemented, and enforced a quality control and ethics program to ensure there were no additional problems with its aircraft manufacturing protocols.

Boeing paid a hefty $2.5 billion fine to settle the situation, but now prosecutors are suggesting they’ve failed to maintain their side of the agreement. Boeing hasn’t issued any new comments, but representatives for the company previously told corporate press that they “believed” that they sufficiently honored the agreement. They’ll have to convince a judge if they end up in court.

The DOJ will have to decide whether or not to criminally charge the company. The CEO, COO, CFO and members of its board will all be personally liable for the behavior and decisions they made as the executives and highest level managers.

The company has been under heavy scrutiny since the two crashes and interest in prosecution was revived after a panel flew off one of its commercial airliners mid-flight earlier this year. The plug was designed to replace an emergency exit and was not bolted in properly. It flew off after Alaska Air Flight 1282 was ascending during takeoff. Right around 18,000 the plug was ripped off the jet, triggering an immediate emergency landing.

More recently, one of Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing jets suffered a cracked windshield during a flight from Heathrow to San Francisco. The crack appeared at 40,000 feet roughly three hours into the flight forcing the plane to turn around on May 27. It’s unclear what caused the crack.

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