The Justice Department reportedly intends to file criminal charges against a top Boeing (BA) - Get Boeing Company Report pilot that the agency believes misled the FAA about safety issues related to the 737 Max.
The Wall Street Journal published the report, citing knowledgeable sources. The 737 Max crashed in 2018 and 2019, killing a total of 346 people.
The subject of potential charges is Mark Forkner, Boeing’s 737 Max chief technical pilot during the plane’s development, the report says. He was Boeing’s lead contact with the Federal Aviation Administration in guiding pilot training for the Max.
Prosecutors will probably file charges against him in coming weeks, The Journal's sources said.
The Justice Department and Boeing declined to comment to the paper. Forkner's attorney didn't respond to the Journal's request for comment.
In other Boeing news, Susquehanna analyst Charles Minervino published a bullish report Wednesday.
He says “Boeing continues to have some unanswered questions related to the ungrounding of the 737 Max in China (it still expects the fourth quarter of 2021), timing of the 787 fix, restarting deliveries, and the subsequent production reacceleration.”
But “answers to these questions will serve as potential catalysts for the stock over the next several months,” Minervino wrote in a commentary.
After meeting with Boeing’s new chief financial officer, Brian West, the analyst said West “is well aware of these unanswered questions and is focused on supporting operational stability.”
Minervino has a positive rating and a $300 price target on the Chicago aerospace giant's stock.
Boeing stock recently traded at $213.44, little changed. It has fallen 12% in the past three months.