WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Relatives of the victims of two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes asked the Justice Department on Wednesday to seek a fine against the planemaker of up to $24.78 billion and move forward with a criminal prosecution.

The Justice Department said in May it determined Boeing violated a 2021 deferred prosecution agreement that shielded the company from a criminal charge arising from fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people. Boeing last week told the government it did not violate the agreement. Federal prosecutors have until July 7 to inform a federal judge in Texas of their plans, which could include proceeding with a criminal case and negotiating a plea deal with Boeing.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)