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Boeing agrees with DOJ to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud

The company violated its agreement with the government to strengthen its safety policy following two plane crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed 346 people.

Boeing(The Lamb Family / Flickr)

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) reported that Boeing will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal fraud following two crashes of its 737 MAX aircraft models produced in 2018 and 2019 in Indonesia and Ethiopia, in which a total of 346 passengers and cabin crew died. It will also pay a fine of $243.6 million.

In statements collected by the Associated Press, the DOJ said the multinational aerospace company violated an agreement with the federal administration to invest millions of dollars in its safety program, implementing new measures that would have government oversight.

By pleading guilty, Boeing will in principle avoid going to trial. However, the company will have to wait for this acknowledgment to receive the approval of Justice.

This agreement does not involve other Boeing aircraft accidents, such as, for example, when a window on a 737 MAX 9 flying the Portland-Ontario route exploded in mid-flight and had to make an emergency landing. Or when a FedEx Boeing jetliner landed without landing gear in Istanbul.

A week ago, the DOJ offered Boeing this settlement relating to the two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in an effort to keep it from sitting in the dock, in the face of pressure from victims' families and prosecutors to prosecute the airline.