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Boeing violated 2021 deferred prosecution agreement: DOJ

The Justice Department has notified a Texas federal court that it has determined that Boeing violated a non-prosecution agreement that allowed the company to escape criminal prosecution for two fatal 737 plane crashes Max in 2018 and 2019, according to a recently filed letter.

Federal prosecutors entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Boeing in January 2021, allowing the plane maker to avoid criminal prosecution in exchange for meeting new safety obligations.

The DOJ said in the letter that based on the violations of the agreement identified by the government, Boeing is now facing prosecution, although the department “is still determining how it will proceed in this matter.” .

PHOTO: The Boeing logo is seen on the side of a Boeing 737 MAX at the Farnborough International Airshow, in Farnborough, Britain, July 20, 2022.

The Boeing logo is seen on the side of a Boeing 737 MAX at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, Britain, July 20, 2022.

Peter Cziborra/Reuters/FILE

In the letter, federal prosecutors said the aerospace giant failed to “design, implement and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of U.S. fraud laws in ‘all of its operations’.

The DOJ gave Boeing until June 13 to respond to its decision.

The fatal Boeing crashes in October 2018 and March 2019 killed a total of 346 people.

The first accident, which occurred on October 29, 2018, in Jakarta, Indonesia, killed all 189 passengers and crew members. The second accident, on March 10, 2019, occurred in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when a Boeing plane crashed minutes after takeoff and killed 157 people on board.

In April, family members of victims of the 2019 crash in Ethiopia met with prosecutors in Washington, D.C. to urge the Justice Department to prosecute Boeing.

Paul G. Cassell, the attorney representing the families of Boeing crash victims, called the DOJ’s announcement “a promising first step,” in a statement to ABC News.

“This is a positive first step, and for families, it will take time,” Cassell said. “But we need further action from the Justice Department to hold Boeing accountable and plan to use our May 31 meeting to further explain what we believe to be a satisfactory remedy for the current criminal conduct of Boeing.”

In the letter, the DOJ said it would meet with the families of the Boeing crash victims on May 31.

This is a developing story. Please check again for updates.

ABC News

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