Chris Moore on the Fourth Anniversary of the Boeing Crash in Ethiopia

Standing outside the Boeing headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia last week, Chris Moore held a picture of his daughter Danielle and a sign that read – Boeing took away their life, DOJ their voice.

Chris Moore in front of Boeing headquarters,
Crystal City, Virginia, March 10, 2023

Moore traveled from Toronto, Canada to be with other family members from around the world at the Boeing headquarters on the fourth anniversary of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

“My daughter Danielle Moore lost her life four years ago on flight ET302,” Moore told reporters and family members. “We are here to remember our loved ones on the fourth anniversary of this crash. But we also want to remind people that the butcher Boeing – the planes they design, certify and build must be safe. There are people flying on them. And they have to make them safe for the flying public.”

“Boeing took away my daughter’s body, but the Department of Justice tried to take away her voice,” Moore said. “We are here to make sure we are giving her voice back to her.”

Where are you in seeking justice from Boeing?

“Well, we’re actually seeking justice from the Justice Department,” Moore told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview earlier this month. “The Justice Department violated the Crime Victims Rights Act. It is sad that the Department could not treat the people who died in that crash and their families as victims.” 

“They cut this deferred prosecution agreement with Boeing behind closed doors without our knowledge, without our input. We know we can’t dictate how the Justice Department prosecutes, but we should have a say. As far as we are concerned, Boeing should be tried for manslaughter. They knew about the fraud, they knew about the other issues regarding MCAS and how faulty it was. The Congressional report found four different individuals questioning what MCAS could do – and whether this could be a problem.”

“On October 29, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 went down off the coast of Indonesia. They knew that the pilots could have a problem with identifying and troubleshooting what happens when the horizontal stabilizer starts working against them. They were not notified during their training.”

Two of the trial lawyers representing families in this case, Shanin Specter and Robert Clifford, wrote a law article last year titled – It’s Time for a Criminal Investigation of Boeing’s CEOs. They want a criminal investigation into David Calhoun and Dennis Muilenburg.

You and the other family members actually met in November 2022 with Glenn Leon, the head of the Fraud Section, at the Justice Department.

“It wasn’t a consultation. It was a listening session. Leon was very smug. He didn’t want to give us any information whatsoever. Whenever a question was asked, he would go into the answer very slowly, very deliberately. He was talking so slowly that people would jump in and interrupt him.”

“And I think that is what he wanted. He wanted to play ping pong with the family members. He didn’t answer any question substantively. He said nothing to us that was germane as to what the Justice Department was going to do.”

There were members of the prosecution team sitting next to Leon who were perceived to be on the same team with the Boeing attorneys in Ft. Worth. And this upset family members. These attorneys agreed with Boeing’s attorneys, for example, that the family members were not crime victims. That was the Justice Department’s position.

“We asked those attorneys to recuse themselves in the whole case,” Moore said. “Glenn Leon shut that down. He said no way, these attorneys are going to continue to work on this case.”

The judge in Ft. Worth, Texas ruled that you and the other family members were crime victims under the Crime Victims Rights Act. But he then ruled that there was no remedy. That ruling is now on appeal. 

Even if the Justice Department were forced by an appeals case to reopen the prosecution, it seems as if they would just fold themselves back into another deferred prosecution agreement. 

“That’s the impression I get. It speaks to this whole idea that the Justice Department is in cahoots with Boeing. I don’t have any evidence of that, but everything I learn points to that. It almost seems as though they are Boeing’s lawyers, they are acting on their behalf. If they can’t understand that we are victims under the law, they have a problem.”

“The whole idea of a prosecution is to deliver justice to the victim and prosecute the criminal and to ensure that crimes do not happen again. But everything they have done has been to support this big corporation – not the public or the victims.”

There were two events last week – one at the Justice Department and one at Boeing. You were telling me how you felt the focus should be more on the Justice Department. The Justice Department has the authority to do something here and they are not doing it.

“We can understand why Boeing is doing this. It’s for their shareholders, for their board of directors, for their CEOs and top executives. If they can minimize this as much as possible, there is more money for them. It gets rid of the criminal prosecution.”

“You don’t expect this from the Justice Department. You expect a higher standard of transparency. You expect them to do what’s right. And we don’t even know the basis for entering into the deferred prosecution agreement. We just don’t know.”

I saw a picture of you in front of the Justice Department holding a sign that read – Boeing took away their lives. The Department of Justice took away their voices. 

Do you get a sense that the game the Department and Boeing are playing is that they are just trying to play out the string? They are just waiting for the families to give up and settle?

“I don’t know if it’s that. I think they have been told – just continue with this line of defense. When you have an agreement like the deferred prosecution agreement, it’s difficult to open it back up. But that’s why the Justice Department shouldn’t have entered into that agreement in the first place. They have really screwed things up with that agreement. There are other mechanisms to pull it back. There is other information that the Department could charge Boeing on.”

“Why didn’t Boeing ground that plane after the first crash? If they were fully contrite, they would say – we have to fix this thing before another accident happens. But they doubled down. Even after the second crash, they doubled down. There is a lot of evidence here that points to the fact that they were trying to continue the fraud. The bottom line here was money. It was going to adversely affect the golden egg – the 737 MAX. This is where they are making a lot of their money and future profits.”

Could you tell us about your daughter?

“Danielle was a beautiful person. She was 24 years old. She was an activist. The bottom line for her was about justice. Environmental, Native rights – she was for people who don’t have a voice. She stood with people who are caught in this corporate world of mass production. She was about beauty. She brought in many different programs and projects. She was with a group called Ocean Bridge. She applied to go to Ethiopia for the United Nations Environmental Assembly to represent Canada to gather and bring back information about the climate crisis. And she was planning on having additional meetings with the youth of Canada.”

“As we all know, she never got that chance to come back and do this. That’s why I held up that sign – Boeing took away her body. But the Department of Justice took away her voice.”

[For the complete q/a format Interview with Chris Moore, see 37 Corporate Crime Reporter 12(13), March 20, 2023, print edition only.]

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