Former Boeing pilot Mark Forkner indicted in 737 Max crashes inquiry
A federal grand jury indicted a former top pilot for Boeing, Mark Forkner, in connection with statements he and the company made about the troubled Boeing 737 Max jet.
He would be the first individual to face criminal charges related to the 737 Max’s problems.
The six fraud charges in his indictment carry maximum penalties totaling several decades in prison.
According to the Washington Post, Forkner is accused of deceiving the Federal Aviation Administration about flight control software implicated in two crashes in 2018 and 2019 in which 346 people were killed.
He is also accused of “scheming to defraud Boeing’s U.S.‑based airline customers to obtain tens of millions of dollars for Boeing,” the Justice Department said.
Lawyers for the pilot, who has been under investigation for more than a year and half, said last year that he “didn’t lie to anyone.”
“He would never jeopardize the safety of other pilots or their passengers, ” his attorneys insisted.
He is expected to appear in court for the first time on Friday.
Boeing and the Justice Department in the last days of the Trump administration announced that they had agreed to a $2.5 billion legal settlement to resolve a criminal charge that the company had conspired to defraud the F.A.A.
The scandal has already led to the firing of the chief executive and cost the company billions of dollars.