- 346 people died in 2019 in two Boeing 737 MAX crashes flying on Ethiopian Airlines in Ethiopia and earlier on a Lyon Air flight in Indonesia. A criminal trial against Boeing was was settled earlier this year with a deferred prosecution agreement, and it shows now why.
- Boeing is a Seattle-based aircraft manufacturing company with a corporate headquarter in Chicago, Illinois. Why would a criminal complaint against Boeing adjudicated in Ft. Worth, Texas?
- Boeing defense law firm Kirkland & Ellis made a sweet deal with the leading US Procecutor Erin Nealy Cox. Months after this Erin Nealy Cox quit her prominent government job and joined Kirkland & Ellis raising suspicion of a cooked procesution.
The criminal Boeing case was meant to bring justice to the 346 families of those that died in the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes. The result of this Texas trial was that no senior Boeing executive was charged.
On January 7 this year eTurboNews published an article by Paul Hudson, head of the airline consumer rights group Flyers Rights. He wrote: Boeing charged with 737 Max fraud conspiracy, to pay over $2.5 billion in fines.
A report published today in the Corporate Crime Reporter revealed the details of this arrangement pointing out that the lead attorney prosecuting the case for the US Justice Department, former US Attorney Erin Nealy Cox joined the same law firm Boeing had hired to defend against the high profile case she prosecuted.
Filing the case against Boeing in Ft. Worth, Texas was surprising from the beginning since Texas had no connection to any of this.
According to the report, the case was settled with a deferred prosecution agreement. This was an agreement the Columbia Law Professor John Coffee at the time called — “one of the worst deferred prosecution agreements I have seen.”
The Crime Reporter published a response from Michael Stumo and Nadia Milleon, who lost their 24-year-old daughter in the Ethiopian Airline crash.
“We were outraged that the Department of Justice prosecutors cut a sweetheart deal with Boeing which let (former Boeing CEO) Dennis Muilenberg and the Boeing executives and board members off the hook for their criminal negligence and fraud which caused the death of Samya while they enriched themselves,” Stumo and Milleron said in a statement in response to the news. “We were confused about why the Northern District of Texas was chosen by the Justice Department given that none of the criminal behavior had anything to do with that district. Was it a compliant judge that Boeing favored? Was it compliant prosecutors that knew Boeing’s criminal defense team? This is shocking new information.”
Paul Hudson of the consumer group Flyers Rights told eTurboNews the case “is an example of the revolving door where thousands of ex-government employees go to work for parties they regulated as government officers. But the revolving door is not supposed to be a conveyor belt.”
Hudson concluded: “If a chief federal prosecutor joins a criminal defendant party or its defense firm shortly after representing the US government in a related criminal matter, it raises both appearance concerns and ethical issues,”