Biden DOJ plans to cut deal with Boeing after fatal crashes

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An engine cowling is removed on a Southwest Airlines flight on a Boeing 737 on Sunday, April 7, 2024. (X)
An engine cowling is removed mid-air on a Southwest Airlines flight on a Boeing 737 on Sunday, April 7, 2024.

By Wallace White
Daily Caller News Foundation

The Department of Justice (DOJ) plans to allow Boeing to avoid a trial if they plead guilty to fraud charges for deaths involving 737 Max jets , according to the New York Times.

The DOJ is reportedly offering Boeing a deal to plead guilty to a fraud charge in order to avoid a criminal trial, provided the corporation agrees to pay a $244 million fine, safety improvements, agree to three years of oversight and a meeting between board members and the crash victim’s families, according to the NYT. The fraud charge stemmed from 2021 when the company settled a case in which it was accused of defrauding the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after 2 fatal crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets that killed 346 people in 2018 and 2019.

“The families will strenuously object to this plea deal,” Paul Cassell, legal counsel for the victims families, said according to the NYT. “The memory of 346 innocents killed by Boeing demands more justice than this.”

The deal comes in the lead-up to a July 7 deadline for the DOJ to file charges to bring forward a criminal case against the airline manufacturer, according to the NYT. Boeing has until then to agree to the terms of the deal.

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In pleading guilty, Boeing would also agree to a set of facts laid out in the 2021 settlement agreement, which Cassell described as a “whitewashed” narrative that does not hold Boeing responsible for the deaths, according to the NYT. The plea deal was first relayed by federal officials on a Sunday call with the families before Boeing was notified.

The 2021 settlement required Boeing pay $500 million to the victims families and $1.7 billion to customers that could not use the jets for business in the wake of the 20-month ban on its use, according to the NYT. In May, the DOJ found Boeing in violation of the agreement when it allegedly did not implement an ethics program aimed at stopping fraud.

Boeing faced whistleblowers alleging oversights in the engineering of the company’s planes, one alleging in June that substandard parts were installed on planes in some cases. Boeing’s bottom line has declined with the company losing $355 million in the first quarter of 2024, according to their earnings report.

Boeing and The DOJ did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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