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Boeing accepts plea deal after 346 killed in plane crashes, vows to pay $487M fines to avoid prosecution

Boeing, an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, has agreed to plead guilty to a criminal fraud conspiracy charge and pay a fine of $243.6 million to resolve a US Justice Department investigation into two 737 MAX fatal crashes, the government said in a court filing on Sunday. The plea deal, which requires a judge’s approval, would brand the planemaker a convicted felon in connection with crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia over a five-month period in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people.

What will plea guilty mean for Boeing

The settlement drew swift criticism from victims’ families who wanted Boeing to face a trial and suffer harsher financial consequences. The Justice Department’s (DOJ) push to charge Boeing has deepened an ongoing crisis engulfing Boeing since a separate January in-flight blowout exposed continuing safety and quality issues at the planemaker. A guilty plea potentially threatens the company’s ability to secure lucrative government contracts with the likes of the US Defense Department and NASA, although it could seek waivers.

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