DOJ Receives Criminal Recommendation Against Boeing

( – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations recently held a hearing to examine Boeing’s safety record. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-KY) shredded the company’s CEO, Dave Calhoun, during his sworn testimony for the company’s lack of accountability for its failures. Recent reports indicated that the US manufacturer faces more trouble after line prosecutors submitted a criminal recommendation against Boeing to their superiors.

On June 24, Reuters published an exclusive report on the US prosecutors’ decision to push DOJ officials to authorize charging Boeing with a crime. The article explained that Justice officials recently determined that the company breached a 2021 agreement involving two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Federal prosecutors agreed to defer criminal prosecution against Boeing for its role in the late 2018 and early 2019 crashes that claimed the lives of 346 passengers on flights operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, respectively.

Deferred prosecutions, sometimes referred to as deferred sentencing at the state level, place conditions on defendants to allow them to avoid being prosecuted for their alleged crimes. The defendants must meet those terms and avoid committing any other crimes for a determined period of time — three years in this instance.

In mid-May, federal prosecutors sent a letter to the US district judge overseeing the case, Reed O’Conner (US District Court for Northern Texas). They claimed that Boeing had breached the deferment agreement by failing to “design, implement, and enforce” an ethics and compliance program mandated during the 2021 legal proceedings against the company.

Justice Department officials advised the court that Boeing was “subject to prosecution” for any criminal violations known to prosecutors since they failed to “fulfill completely the terms and obligations” mandated under the prior deferred prosecution agreement. The DOJ officials also told O’Conner that the department would determine how to proceed in the case by July 7.

Boeing officials issued a statement at the time denying any wrongdoing. The notice said the company believed it had “honored the terms of that agreement” and looked forward to responding to the DOJ’s claims.

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