Boeing will pay more than $2.5 billion penalty over 737 Max in criminal settlement

Boeing will pay $500 million for a crash victim fund and $1.77 million to 737 Max customers.

Boeing will pay more than $2.5 billion in an agreement with the Department of Justice to resolve a criminal charge of defrauding the Federal Aviation Administration over the 737 Max airplane.

Under the settlement, Boeing will pay a total criminal monetary amount of more than $2.5 billion. That sum includes:

  • A criminal monetary penalty of $243.6 million.
  • Compensation to Boeing 737 Max customers of $1.77 billion.
  • And a $500 million crash-victim beneficiaries fund for heirs, relatives and beneficiaries of the 346 passengers who died in the Boeing 737 MAX crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

Boeing and its customers have resumed flying the 737 Max with more flights being added throughout 2021. 

The Department of Justice said that Boeing "chose the path of profit over candor" and concealed information about flaws in the 737 MAX's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAC). Boeing admitted that the FAA lacked information about the MCAS so pilots didn't have training materials and key information.

MCAC may have played a role in the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 as it activated during flight.

The complaint and settlement are available via the DOJ.