Boeing agrees to pay $2.5 billion for role in 737 Max crashes

From CNET: Boeing entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice on Thursday after being charged in relation to a conspiracy to defraud the Federal Aviation Administration with regard to its 737 Max airplane. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will pay more than $2.5 billion in criminal penalties, compensation payments and the establishment of a $500 million beneficiaries fund for the 346 passengers who died during two 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019.

"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," said David P. Burns, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. "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."

Citing "misleading statements, half-truths, and omissions" that impeded the government's ability to ensure the safety of the flying public, Justice officials hold that two of Boeing's technical pilots deceived the FAA about an important aircraft part called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, that impacted the airplane's flight control system. As a result, information about that crucial system failed to make it into any of the manuals or training materials used by US-based airlines.

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