Boeing to pay $200 million in SEC settlement over 737 MAX crashes

Sep 22, 2022, 6:45 PM
A Boeing 737 MAX 10 airliner takes off from Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight on June 18, 2021 in Renton, Washington. The 737 MAX 10 is Boeing's newest model since regulators cleared the 737 MAX to fly again in November 2020. (Photo by Ellen Banner-Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ellen Banner-Pool/Getty Images)

Boeing will reportedly pay $200 million to settle a case alleging that misleading statements about 737 MAX hurt investors.

That’s similar to the fine Boeing paid to settle the criminal case over the two MAX crashes, Leeham Aviation consultant Scott Hamilton told KIRO Newsradio.

“It’s going to be really interesting to see what the settlement is, as part of the whole MAX crisis,” Hamilton said.

“Boeing entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid being charged with criminality. The criminal-related fine was $244 million, which by my reckoning, was just a slap on the wrist. It’ll be interesting to see what the SEC levies as a fine, assuming that there’s going to be a fine, and whether it be a slap on the wrist or whether it will be something meaningful.”

That fine is nearly the sale price of two MAX jets.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating if Boeing executives hid MAX safety flaws from the Federal Aviation Administration and the public.

“The settlement announced today fully resolves the SEC’s previously disclosed inquiry into matters relating to the 737 MAX accidents,” A Boeing spokesperson wrote to KIRO Newsradio.

“The settlement specifies that Boeing does not admit or deny the findings in the SEC’s statement of facts, which concern company statements made in late 2018 and early 2019. 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, employee, and other stakeholders.”

21 years after leaving Puget Sound for Chicago, Boeing to relocate headquarters to Virginia

Hamilton says that knowing more would have given investors the option of selling their stocks before the planes were grounded because of a problem with the flight control system.

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Boeing to pay $200 million in SEC settlement over 737 MAX crashes