The Division of Justice mentioned on Tuesday that Boeing was in violation of a 2021 settlement associated to issues with the corporate’s 737 Max mannequin that led to 2 lethal airplane crashes in 2018 and 2019.

In a letter to a federal choose, the division mentioned that Boeing had did not “design, implement and implement” an ethics program to stop and detect violations of U.S. fraud legal guidelines within the firm’s operations. Creating that program was a situation of Boeing’s settlement, which additionally carried a $2.5 billion penalty.

The dedication by the Justice Division opens the door to a possible prosecution of a 2021 criminal charge accusing Boeing of conspiracy to defraud the Federal Aviation Administration, although Boeing can contest Tuesday’s resolution.

In a press release, Boeing mentioned that the corporate believed that it had honored the phrases of the settlement, including that it was trying ahead to the chance to reply.

“As we achieve this, we’ll have interaction with the division with the utmost transparency, as we’ve got all through the whole time period of the settlement,” Boeing mentioned in its assertion.

The Justice Division declined to remark. Paul G. Cassell, a lawyer representing households of victims of the deadly airplane crashes, mentioned that his purchasers have been planning to fulfill with the federal government on Could 31 to debate subsequent steps within the case.

When the federal government reached its settlement with Boeing in January 2021, many households of the crash victims mentioned that the Trump administration had been too lenient on the plane producer.

“This can be a optimistic first step and, for the households, a very long time coming,” Mr. Cassell mentioned. “However we have to see additional motion from D.O.J. to carry Boeing accountable.”

The crashes of the 737 Max 8 planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 folks, prompting the F.A.A. to floor the whole 737 Max fleet. An investigation discovered that each crashes concerned mistaken triggering of a maneuvering system designed to assist avert stalls in flight.

In one other settlement, the Securities and Change Fee mentioned that Boeing had supplied deceptive reassurances in regards to the security of the 737 Max in public statements after each crashes, regardless of realizing that the maneuvering system had posed a seamless security challenge.

The Justice Division reached its discovering at a tumultuous time for Boeing, which has confronted intense regulatory scrutiny since a door panel blew out of a 737 Max 9 airplane throughout an Alaska Airways flight from Portland, Ore., in January. In March, the corporate mentioned its chief government, Dave Calhoun, would step down on the finish of the 12 months, together with Stan Deal, the pinnacle of the division that makes planes for airways and different business prospects.

Mr. Calhoun changed Dennis A. Muilenburg, who led the corporate throughout the 2018 and 2019 crashes. Boeing fired Mr. Muilenburg, whose efficiency throughout the disaster angered lawmakers and alienated victims’ households.

Mark Walker contributed reporting.

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