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Volkswagen executive pleads guilty in emissions scandal

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robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
1 6 Aug 2017

A German Volkswagen executive pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy and fraud charges in Detroit in a scheme to cheat on emission tests of nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles.

Shackled at the wrists and ankles and wearing red prison garb, Oliver Schmidt appeared before U.S. District Judge Sean Cox as part of the U.S. government's case involving the automaker, which has admitted to using software to get around U.S. emission standards.

Schmidt, 48, is a former manager of a VW engineering office in suburban Detroit who was arrested in January while on vacation in Miami. He faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the U.S., wire fraud and violation of the Clean Air Act. A second count of giving a false statement under the Clean Air Act carries a possible sentence of up to two years in prison.

He remains jailed and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6. He also could face deportation.

Schmidt is accused of telling regulators technical problems were to blame for the difference in emissions in road and lab tests.

“Schmidt participated in a fraudulent VW scam that prioritized corporate sales at the expense of the honesty of emissions tests and trust of the American purchasers,” Deputy Assistant Atty. Gen. Jean E. Williams, who is in the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, said in a news release after Friday's plea.

Schmidt's attorney declined to comment after the plea hearing.

VW pleaded guilty in March to defrauding the U.S. government and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties, on top of billions more to buy back cars. Most of the VW employees charged in a scheme are in Germany and out of reach of U.S. authorities.

(The a-hole's in jail - the enviromental damages been done though)

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
2 7 Dec 2017
A former Volkswagen executive has been sentenced to seven years in prison and a $400,000 (£298,778) fine, after admitting he helped the firm evade clean-air laws.

Oliver Schmidt, 48, is the second person to be imprisoned in the US over the diesel emissions scandal.

Mr Schmidt, who led the firm's environmental and engineering office in Michigan, learned of the cheating scheme in 2015, according to court documents.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and violating the Clean Air Act in August.

His attorney had urged the court to deliver a lesser punishment, saying he had played a minor role in the scheme compared to more senior people at the company.

But Michigan-based US District Judge Sean Cox sentenced Mr Schmidt to the maximum sentence proposed by prosecutors, who had already dropped some charges against Mr Schmidt in exchange for the guilty plea.