Jury Finds Former Boeing Pilot Not Guilty of Fraud in 737 Max Case

A jury in Texas on Wednesday acquitted a former Boeing technical pilot, Mark A. Forkner, of defrauding two of the company’s customers, serving the federal government a defeat in its only criminal case against an individual connected to the troubled Boeing 737 Max jet.

Mr. Forkner, who was also accused of deceiving the Federal Aviation Administration, was facing four counts of wire fraud, each carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A jury found him not guilty shortly after both sides rested their cases on Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We had a great team and great client — and thank heavens for our independent, smart, fair judge and jury,” Mr. Forkner’s lawyer, David Gerger, said in a statement. “They made all the difference.”

Boeing earlier settled a criminal case brought by the federal government.

Lawyers for the Justice Department argued that Mr. Forkner had lied to the F.A.A. about flight control software used on the Max that was implicated in two crashes, which killed 346 people. Federal prosecutors contended that Mr. Forkner had downplayed the significance of the software to regulators to discourage stricter pilot training requirements that could have cost Boeing tens of millions of dollars.