If proven true, claims of safety problems and falsified records could breach a deal that shielded Boeing from prosecution after two deadly crashes.

by Katya Schwenk, The Lever

Allegations of fraud in a recent federal lawsuit — if substantiated — could empower President Biden’s Justice Department to rescind a controversial deferred prosecution agreement granted to Boeing by Donald Trump’s administration and blessed by an archconservative judge in the wake of two 737 Max crashes, according to experts interviewed by The Lever.

The deal, which has long been criticized by crash victims’ families and recently challenged in court by air safety advocates, allowed Boeing to avoid criminal prosecution on fraud charges and shielded Boeing’s senior executives from such prosecution as well.

the side of a boeing plane fuselage showing the company name

The agreement — which was announced just days before Trump left office — was emblematic of the Republican administration at once billing itself as a defender of “law and order” but overseeing a record reduction in overall corporate prosecutions and a continuation of the use of leniency deals allowing companies and executives to avoid sanctions.

However, the Boeing agreement included language requiring Boeing to “protect and detect violations of the U.S. fraud laws throughout its operations, including… those of its contractors and subcontractors.”

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