Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Looks Like Boeing Gets a Non-Prosecution Agreement

According to the Washington Post here, we can expect an agreement between Boeing and the government - and it may be costing Boeing A LOT OF MONEY. It looks like Boeing could be paying $615 million to get the government off its back.  According to the Post, the settlement, however, will not include civil or criminal charges. Boeing has been having its defense procurement issues with the government, and the investigation has been around for a long time (see post here).

Interestingly, this comes just days after Judge J. Michael Luttig formerly of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to join the company. The company was using this new hire to show their desire to comply with ethics rules. (see AP here). And perhaps the price of adding Luttig should be added to the 615 million. (see Conglomerate here).

But if this Boeing deal goes through, there are a host of questions that need resolution. For example: What criteria does the government use to decide whether a company is entitled to a deferred prosecution agreement, a non-prosecution agreement, and whether these agreements will include civil or criminal fines? Does it all come down to whether the company has met the Thompson Memo criteria? Does one receive a benefit if they give up employees, not pay their attorney fees, and waive the attorney client privilege?  In one sense companies want transparency in what criteria the government uses for making the decisions.  On the other hand, does it become government extortion when the only way one can obtains the best deal is to become a mini-prosecutor for the government.



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