Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

VW senior manager faces prison for US emissions scandal

VW senior manager faces prison for US emissions scandal VW senior manager faces prison for US emissions scandal
Lindsey Cook | 08 December, 2017, 02:07

Former Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt, who has pled guilty to criminal charges that he conspired to cover up the automaker's diesel emissions cheating scandal, was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in prison by a MI federal judge.

The prison term of seven years was announced along with $400,000 fine today in a US District Court in Detroit.

Prosecutors say Schmidt, a German national, lied to USA environmental authorities, lied to investigators and encouraged others at VW to destroy arguments.

In exchange for his plea, federal prosecutors dropped multiple counts of wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. In fact, Schmidt already moved back to Germany, and authorities only got the chance to arrest him when he came back to the U.S. with his wife for a vacation.

It said Schmidt oversaw emissions at the MI office from 2012 to early 2015, and did not disclose the cheat software during a meeting with California regulators in 2015.

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Volkswagen auto engineer James Liang was sentenced in August to 40 months in prison and fined $200,000 for his role in the scandal.

Defense lawyers had sought a sentence of only 40 months and a United States dollars 100,000 fine, saying Schmidt's participation in the conspiracy had not occurred until nine years after it began and that he had expressed remorse.

Volkswagen senior manager Oliver Schmidt has been sentenced to seven years in a USA prison for concealing software that was used to evade pollution limits on almost 600,000 diesel vehicles.

Schmidt pleaded guilty to his part in the coverup, but argued that VW had "misused" him.

Half a dozen other former VW executives are still at large, but Schmidt's stiff sentence could lessen the odds of others indicted in the case being prosecuted, with many residing in Germany, the Detroit Free Press reported. He's charged in a federal criminal complaint for his alleged role in the emissions scandal.

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