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Briefs (right)

Boeing Settlement is Near

By Leslie Wayne

Boeing Co., the nation’s second largest military contractor, has agreed to pay $615 million under a tentative deal with federal prosecutors that will allow the company to avoid criminal charges, Boeing and senior Justice Department officials said Monday.

The agreement, which is expected to become final in a few weeks, would end a three-year investigation into wrongdoing by Boeing employees and would require the company to pay $565 million to cover civil claims and $50 million to end a criminal inquiry. Senior Justice Department officials said they believed this is the largest fine ever imposed on a military contractor.

While avoiding criminal charges, Boeing will agree to “accept responsibility,” the justice officials said, for the actions of its employees. One case involved the theft of proprietary data from rival Lockheed Martin Corp. The other involved Boeing’s hiring of a former Air Force official who oversaw Boeing contracts at the Pentagon.

Boeing will also be monitored by the Justice Department for a two-year period and be required to maintain a federal ethics and compliance program as well as cooperate with federal investigators in any future investigations. Should Boeing violate these provisions, it could be prosecuted and fined up to $10 million, according to the settlement.

“Boeing does accept responsibility for the actions of its employees,” said the senior Justice Department official, who added that the $615 million figure reflected “money that was lost to the government due to Boeing’s illicit activities.”

Heavy Rains Wreak Havoc
In New England

By Katie Zezima

After days of record rainfall, rivers in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire have spilled over their banks, causing thousands of residents to flee their homes and brace for what could be the region’s worst flooding in 70 years.

Storms have dumped more than a foot of rain throughout the region since Friday, with at least another inch expected by Tuesday morning. No deaths were reported, but the Coast Guard was searching for two people who were seen floating down the Merrimack River in Amesbury, Mass., on Monday afternoon after a floating bridge broke free of its moorings.

On Monday, as the rains continued, residents were evacuated and floated through towns in canoes; cars were submerged up to their roofs; major roadways, including Route 1 in Massachusetts, were closed; sewage systems were failing; and residents tried to come to grips with flood damage that, despite four days of rain, seemed to come out of nowhere.

“I don’t think anybody anywhere expected what hit us,” said Yetta Chin of Kennebunk, Maine, whose three-bedroom ranch was destroyed by the flooding Mousam River on Sunday night.