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Boeing To Pay $2.5 Billion to Settle U.S. Criminal Probe Into 737 MAX Crashes

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WASHINGTON/SEATTLE/CHICAGO (Reuters) -Boeing Co will pay more than $2.5 billion in fines and compensation after reaching a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over two plane crashes that killed a total of 346 people and led to the grounding of its 737 MAX jetliner.

The settlement, which allows Boeing to avoid prosecution, includes a fine of $243.6 million, compensation to airlines of $1.77 billion and a $500 million crash-victim fund over fraud conspiracy charges related to the plane’s flawed design.

Boeing said it would take a $743.6 million charge against its fourth-quarter 2020 earnings to reflect the deferred prosecution agreement, a form of corporate plea bargain.

The Justice Department deal, announced after the market close on Thursday, caps a 21-month investigation into the design and development of the 737 MAX following the two crashes, in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

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