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Boeing Fined $2.5 Billion For Lying About 737 Max Safety Features, Also Charged
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged and fined Boeing for defrauding the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) evaluation group on the safety of the 737 Max, the DOJ recently announced.
Boeing has agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle the federal criminal charge nearly two years after its 737 Max planes crashed, killing a total of 346 people.
In October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610, operated on a 737 Max, plunged into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff in Indonesia. All 189 passengers and flight crew aboard died. Five months later, an Ethiopian Airlines flight jet bound for Nairobi, Kenya from Addis Ababa, crashed just minutes after takeoff, killing 157 passengers and the flight crew.
“The tragic crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 exposed fraudulent and deceptive conduct by employees of one of the world’s leading commercial airplane manufacturers,” Acting Assistant Attorney General David Burns of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a statement. “Boeing’s employees chose the path of profit over candor by concealing material information from the FAA concerning the operation of its 737 Max airplane and engaging in an effort to cover up their deception.”
The $2.5 billion resolution includes a criminal monetary penalty of more than $243 million and compensation payments to Boeing’s 737 MAX airline customers of $1.77 billion. It also establishes a $500 million crash-victim beneficiaries fund to compensate the heirs, relatives, and legal beneficiaries of those killed.
The charges and fines were announced just one week after Boeing’s 737 Max returned to the U.S. skies, as Travel Noire previously reported.
The FAA gave Boeing the green light to carry passengers in the problematic planes after they were grounded for 20-months.
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said a repeat of what happened in both crashes is now “impossible” thanks to design and training changes.