Boeing to pay $200 million to settle charges in 737 Max probe

A Boeing 737 MAX 7 plane lands throughout an analysis flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, September 30, 2020.

Lindsey Wasson | Reuters

Boeing will pay $200 million and then-CEO Dennis Muilenburg will pay $1 million to settle charges over deceptive buyers in the wake of two lethal crashes of 737 Max jetliners, the Securities and Exchange Commission stated Thursday.

Shares fell about 2% in premarket trading Friday.

“In times of crisis and tragedy, it is especially important that public companies and executives provide full, fair, and truthful disclosures to the markets. The Boeing Company and its former CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, failed in this most basic obligation,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler in a statement.

The two crashes — one in October 2018 and one other in March 2019 — killed all 346 individuals aboard the 2 flights and led to a worldwide grounding of the jetliners. The grounding was first lifted in late 2020.

Boeing fired Muilenberg in December 2019 in the midst of the planes’ prolonged grounding and feedback about when he anticipated regulators to clear the planes to fly once more. The feedback additionally strained the producer’s relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration, prompting public admonishment by the regulator.

“Today’s settlement is part of the company’s broader effort to responsibly resolve outstanding legal matters related to the 737 MAX accidents in a manner that serves the best interests of our shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders,” Boeing stated in a statement.

Neither Boeing nor Muilenburg admitted nor denied the SEC’s findings, the company stated.

In January 2021, Boeing agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle a felony probe with the Justice Department over the planes.

Two damning congressional investigations after the crashes discovered management, design and regulatory lapses in the 737 Max’s development and certification. That led to new laws to reform plane certification, giving extra management over the method to the FAA.

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