Boeing and its former chief executive have settled an investigation by the U.S.’s top financial regulator into allegedly misleading statements the plane maker and its then boss made about its 737 Max jets, involved in two deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
The Guardian reports Boeing will pay $200 million to settle charges that it misled investors and the former Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg has agreed to pay $1 million.
“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,” the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair, Gary Gensler, said.
The two fatal 737 Max jets took 346 people’s lives, led to the grounding of the Max fleet and investigations around the world.
The SEC has been investigating statements made by the company and by its former chief executive. Boeing investors lost billions after the crashes and the SEC is tasked with enforcing rules that force companies to disclose information that could affect their share price.
In 2021 Boeing was fined $2.5 billion by the justice department after being charged with fraud and conspiracy in connection with the two crashes. Investigators alleged that a former Boeing pilot misled air-safety regulators about how the Max’s flight-control system worked.
U.S. authorities said the company had engaged “in an effort to cover up their deception” and chose “the path of profit over candor by concealing material information.”
Boeing said it has made “broad and deep changes across our company in response to those accidents” to improve safety and quality, the Associated Press reported.
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