A judge orders Boeing to be charged with a felony in the 737 Max debacle that killed over 300 passengers

A federal judge appointed representatives Boeing to appear in its courtroom Thursday on felony charges, seemingly rejecting a plea deal negotiated by Boeing that would have allowed the company to avoid a felony charge.

The charges stem from mechanical failures on Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, which were blamed for two separate crashes in 2018-19. A total of 346 people died in the crashes. The plane was eventually phased out by virtually every aviation authority in the world, but most countries have since allowed the 737 Max to return to service after Boeing made changes that appeared to satisfy regulators.

Boeing too paid $200 million last September in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused them of misleading investors by claiming the 737 Max is safe.

However, Boeing still faced a criminal investigation from the Justice Department, which accused the company of criminal fraud and conspiracy related to its efforts to hide flaws in the plane’s design from FAA regulators. FAA regulators have also been accused of dealing with Boeing from a Senate Report 2020.

Boeing had agreed with prosecutors to pay a total of $2.5 billion to avoid criminal prosecution. Most of that settlement would have gone to airlines unable to use the 737 Max during its global grounding period, but a total of around $500 million would have been set aside for the families of the crash victims as part of the settlement.

A number of accident victims had objected to the settlement, saying that the government had violated their rights by negotiating the settlement without first consulting the victims. US District Judge Reed O’Connor agreed, verdict last year that the crash victims were crime victims and that the government should therefore have consulted them before settling the criminal case against Boeing. Today, Judge O’Connor specifically ordered Boeing to present representatives for a criminal arraignment, meaning the settlement agreement is likely dead.

Attorney Paul G. Cassell, representing some of the families, said in a statement to CBS News, “We are pleased that the court has granted our motion for indictment and dismissed arguments from Boeing and the U.S. Department of Justice.” Boeing officials responded not a request for comment.

https://www.theblaze.com/news/judge-orders-boeing-to-be-arraigned-on-felony-criminal-charges-in-737-max-debacle-that-killed-over-300-passengers A judge orders Boeing to be charged with a felony in the 737 Max debacle that killed over 300 passengers

Laura Coffey

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