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Case

United States v. The Boeing Company

Docket Number
4:21-cr-00005-O

The Boeing Company
Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA)
Court Docket No.: 4:21-CR-005-O (N.D. Texas)

Latest Update: 

On December 15, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision on the mandamus petitions brought by representatives of victims of the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, as well as foreign airline carrier Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT S.A., pursuant to the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (“CVRA”), 18 U.S.C. § 3771.  The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that it “cannot substantively revise the [Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”)] between the Government and Boeing.”  But the Fifth Circuit clarified “the courts’ ongoing CVRA responsibility” and how the statute will guide further proceedings in this case before the district court.  Specifically, the Fifth Circuit explained that “if judicial approval is sought to resolve the instant case, the district court has an ongoing obligation to uphold the public interest and apply the CVRA.”  “More specifically, if the Government concludes, independent of court supervision, that Boeing has not complied with the DPA, the case will instead proceed to trial or to Rule 11 guilty plea resolution, both assuring CVRA victim protection.  On the other hand, if the Government assesses that Boeing has complied sufficiently with the DPA’s terms and asks the district court to dismiss criminal proceedings, then, ‘in passing on any government motion under Rule 48(a) . . . the court will expect to see the prosecutor recount that the victim has been consulted on the dismissal and what the victim’s views were on the matter.’”  Accordingly, the Fifth Circuit denied the petitions without prejudice to new mandamus petitions being filed again at a later date, observing that the district court “must uphold crime victims’ statutory rights at every stage of the court’s criminal proceedings.”  The full opinion is available to download here.

Regarding the case before the district court, the three-year term of the DPA is set to expire on January 7, 2024.  On that date, Boeing’s obligations under the DPA will end.  Pursuant to paragraph 30 of the DPA, Boeing will be required to certify to the Department that it has complied with its obligations under the DPA.  Pursuant to paragraph 25 of the DPA, the Department has a six-month time period during which it will evaluate Boeing’s compliance with the terms of the DPA.  During this evaluation period, the Department will hold another conferral session with crash-victim families and their representatives in order to solicit input and collect any information they may wish to present.  The Department will coordinate with the crash victim families’ attorneys to determine a date and time.  More information about the conferral will be provided to crash victims’ families once it has been scheduled.  If the Department ultimately determines that Boeing complied with the DPA, it will be obligated under paragraph 25 of the DPA to file a motion to dismiss the case.

Currently there is no proceeding scheduled before the district court.  If the district court schedules a proceeding, whether about the DPA or otherwise, more information will be provided on this website.

At an arraignment held on January 26, 2023, The Boeing Company entered a plea of not guilty. The Court ordered that The Boeing Company is not to commit another federal, state, or local crime while on release as this case is pending.

On October 21, 2022, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued an order (Order) holding that more than a dozen family members and representatives of individuals who died in the two Boeing 737 MAX crashes—Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018, and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019—established that they were directly and proximately harmed by Boeing’s conspiracy to defraud the United States, which the company admitted to in the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) filed in this matter, and are crime victims under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA).  A link to the Order is included below. 

This case is being jointly handled by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Fraud Section, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.  The case was initiated in January 2021, when a criminal information was filed simultaneously with a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA).  The information charges Boeing with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.  Boeing admitted to the conspiracy in the DPA filed in this matter.  See https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/boeing-charged-737-max-fraud-conspiracy-and-agrees-pay-over-25-billion. Crime victims are entitled to certain rights and services, as described further below. 

Charges Filed

In January 2021, The Boeing Company (Boeing) entered into a DPA with the Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas to resolve a criminal charge filed simultaneously against Boeing, specifically, conspiracy to defraud the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Evaluation Group (FAA AEG) in connection with the FAA AEG’s evaluation of Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane. As Boeing admitted in court documents, Boeing, through two of its 737 MAX Flight Technical Pilots, deceived the FAA AEG—which evaluated and mandated pilot-training requirements for U.S.-based airlines flying the 737 MAX—about the speed range in which a part of the 737 MAX’s flight controls called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) could operate.

Boeing agreed as part of the DPA to pay a total of over $2.5 billion, composed of a criminal monetary penalty of $243.6 million, compensation payments to Boeing’s 737 MAX airline customers of $1.77 billion, and a $500 million fund (Fund) to compensate the heirs, relatives, and legal beneficiaries of 346 individuals who died in the two Boeing 737 MAX crashes—Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018, and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019.  The DPA required Boeing to set up a claims-handling system to distribute the Fund and to bear all the costs associated with that process.  If you require additional information or are in need of assistance regarding the compensation fund, please contact: Law Offices of Kenneth R. Feinberg, 1455 Pennsylvania Avenue NW #390, Washington, DC 20004 at (202) 371-1110.

As part of the DPA, which is in effect for three years, Boeing has also agreed, among other things, not to make any public statement, in litigation or otherwise, contradicting its acceptance of responsibility and admission of the facts set forth in the DPA’s Statement of Facts.  Boeing also agreed not to use the fact of any of the payments required by the DPA, including the Fund, to prevent the Fund’s beneficiaries from pursuing any other lawful claim that they might have against Boeing.  Boeing also agreed that it can be held in breach of the DPA should it commit any U.S. federal felony during the term of the DPA, provide any deliberately false, incomplete, or misleading information in connection with the DPA, fail to fully cooperate as required by the DPA, fail to implement a compliance program as required by the DPA, or fail to completely perform or fulfill each of their obligations under the DPA. Should Boeing breach any of the conditions of the DPA, the U.S. Justice Department has the discretion to prosecute Boeing for the crime charged in the information.

Additional Information

Because charges have been filed in this case in federal court, victims of the charges filed are entitled to the following rights, according to CVRA, Title 18, United States Code, Section 3771: (1) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused; (2) The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused; (3) The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding; (4) The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding; (5) The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case; (6) The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law; (7) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay; (8) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy; (9) The right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement; and (10) The right to be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 10607(c)) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice.  Victims may seek the advice of an attorney with respect to these rights.

In addition, a victim of a federal crime is entitled to services under the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act (VRRA), including notification of court events.  For further details, please refer to Title 42, United States Code, Section 10607 or the VRRA link posted at https://www.notify.usdoj.gov.

We will continue to provide victims with notifications and services unless the victim tells not to. We will make our best efforts to ensure victims are provided the rights and services to which they are entitled. Victims may contact the Victim/Witness Coordinator at the office listed below if they have questions about the progress of their case, their rights or the services to which they are entitled, or how they can assert them during the proceedings. If a victim believes that a Justice Department employee has not provided them with these rights, that victim may file a complaint with the Justice Department’s Victims’ Rights Ombudsman. For more information, go to http://www.justice.gov/usao/resources/crime-victims-rights-ombudsman. If you have questions about filing a complaint against an employee, you may contact the Ombudsman by email at usaeo.VictimOmbudsman@usdoj.gov. Questions concerning this case should be directed to the office listed above.

While the Department of Justice cannot act as your attorney or provide you with legal advice, you can seek the advice of an attorney with respect to the rights above or other related legal matters.

It is important to keep in mind that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty and that presumption requires both the Court and the Department of Justice to take certain steps to ensure that justice is served.

If you want to inform the prosecutor of your views regarding any other aspect of the case, please contact the Victim/Witness Coordinator at the office listed below and you will be put in touch with the prosecutor.

Because of the Court’s schedule, hearing dates could change on very short notice. If any victim plans on attending a hearing, they may want to call or email the Victim/Witness Coordinator at the office listed below to confirm the date and time.

If you have any questions about this notice or want to talk to us directly, please call us toll-free at 1-888-549-3945 or email us at Victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov.

For more information on United States v. The Boeing Company (DPA), please see below:

Crime Victims’ Rights Act Order
DPA
Criminal Information
Press Release


Tags
  • Market Integrity and Major Frauds (MIMF)
  • consumer
Updated January 2, 2024