DOJ Files Court Letter Citing Boeing For Settlement Violations


The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) informed a federal judge yesterday that it believes Boeing has violated key terms of the $2.5 billion settlement related to the two infamous 737 MAX crashes. In addition to the cash payment, the settlement required the planemaker to “design, implement, and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of U.S. fraud laws throughout its operations.” The DOJ told the judge Boeing has failed to meet its obligations and is therefore subject to criminal prosecution.

Yesterday (May 14), the head of the DOJ criminal division’s fraud section, Glenn Leon, filed a letter in federal court in Texas, saying Boeing has failed to comply with the above-quoted terms of the 2021 settlement. Boeing has until June 13 to respond to the letter, and DOJ prosecutors have until July 7 to decide whether or not to file charges.

According to Leon’s letter, “The Government is determining how it will proceed in this matter.” He added that the department would consider any response from Boeing in the meantime, “in determining whether to pursue prosecution.”

An attorney representing the families of passengers who died in the second MAX crash called the DOJ determination “a positive first step, and for the families, a long time coming. But we need to see further action from DOJ to hold Boeing accountable.”

Boeing has responded to the DOJ court filing with a statement: “We believe that we have honored the terms of that agreement and look forward to the opportunity to respond to the Department on this issue. As we do so, we will engage with the Department with the utmost transparency, as we have throughout the entire term of the agreement.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.


  1. It’s time for Boeing to be forced to divest itself from its Boeing Commercial Airplane unit which should be spun off into a separate company severing all ties with the present Boeing Company. Enough is enough.