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

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.”

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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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