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Boeing to plead guilty to avoid criminal trial over 737 Max crashes – World

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The Boeing logo is seen on the side of a Boeing 737 MAX at the Farnborough International Airshow, in Farnborough, Britain, July 20, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON – Boeing will plead guilty to a criminal fraud charge related to the two crashes of its 737 Max jetliners, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Sunday.

Under the deal, the US planemaker has agreed to pay a fine of 243.6 million US dollars to resolve the DOJ’s investigation into two 737 MAX fatal crashes that killed 346 people. The decision follows the government’s determination that Boeing violated an agreement shielding it from prosecution for over three years.

Prosecutors accused the planemaker of deceiving regulators who approved the airplane and its pilot-training requirements. Last week, they gave Boeing the choice of either entering a guilty plea and paying a fine as part of its sentence or facing a trial on the felony charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

As part of the deal, Boeing also agreed to spend at least 455 million US dollars over the next three years to boost safety and compliance programs.

The DOJ said in a court filing that it and Boeing are working to document the full written plea agreement and file it in federal court in Texas by July 19.

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