agreed to pay $200 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges. The agency found that Boeing made “materially misleading public statements” related to its aircraft’s involvement. The company’s former CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, will also pay $1 million to settle the charges. The SEC alleged that Boeing and Muilenburg violated the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws. They neither admitted nor denied the agency’s findings.
The SEC alleged that, after the first accident in October 2018, which killed 189 people, Boeing and Muilenburg knew that the anti-stall Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) posed an ongoing safety issue. However, the company told the public that the 737 Max was “as safe as any plane that has ever taken to the skies.”
After a second accident in March 2019, in which 157 people died, the company and Muilenburg stated that “there were no flaws or gaps in the certification process regarding MCAS, despite knowing information to the contrary.” in a sentence. After the accidents, all 737 Max planes were grounded.
“There are no words to describe the tragic loss of life caused by these two plane crashes,” said SEC Chairman Gary Gensler. “In times of crisis and tragedy, it is especially important that public companies and executives provide full, fair and truthful information to the markets. The Boeing Company and its former CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, failed in this basic obligation. They misled investors by providing assurances about the safety of the 737 Max, despite knowing of serious safety issues.
The settlement “fully resolves the SEC’s previously disclosed investigation into matters related to the 737 Max accidents,” Boeing said. . “Today’s settlement is part of a broader effort by the company 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 previously with the Justice Department to avoid criminal charges. Last year, a grand jury indicted former Boeing chief technical pilot Mark A. Forkner. Forkner, the only Boeing employee to have faced criminal charges in connection with the accidents, was accused of misleading the FAA’s Aircraft Assessment Group during the evaluation and certification of the 737 Max. After a four-day trial earlier this year, .
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