Boeing Co. is nearing a final settlement with federal prosecutors to resolve investigations into its acquisition of proprietary documents from Lockheed Martin Corp. in the 1990s and the recruitment of a senior Air Force contracting official in 2002, a published report said Tuesday.
The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous people familiar with the details, said a comprehensive settlement is being held up over the amount of fines and penalties Boeing would pay to end the cases but the foundation for a compromise appears to be in place.
Boeing would avoid pleading guilty to any specific charges in both cases while admitting wrongdoing under a deferred prosecution agreement, according to the Journal.
The company has signaled it may be willing to pay about $500 million, while some Justice Department officials are still seeking about $750 million, the newspaper said. Final negotiations are said to be heating up, with a resolution expected in the next few weeks.
Boeing declined to comment on the specifics of the negotiations. "The company has stayed engaged with the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney's offices in a constructive way as we continue to work through the issues," spokesman John Dern told The Associated Press.
A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
A settlement would resolve long-standing allegations that Boeing improperly obtained thousands of pages of secret documents from Lockheed Martin on rocket programs that enabled it to win government contracts and, separately, recruited Air Force official Darleen Druyun while she was still overseeing contracts involving prospective Boeing deals.
Druyun served nine months in prison last year for violating federal conflict-of-interest laws. Michael Sears, formerly chief financial officer at Boeing, spent four months in federal prison in 2005 for illegally recruiting her.