VW exec expected to plead guilty for Dieselgate, could get 169 years

Randall Padilla
July 27, 2017

A German Volkswagen executive who has been in a MI jail for months plans to plead guilty in the company's USA emissions scandal, a court spokesman said Tuesday.

A federal court said Tuesday that Oliver Schmidt will plead guilty to some of the three charges against him, the Detroit News reports. The charges against Mr. Schmidt include conspiracy, wire fraud and violations of the Clean Air Act.

In March, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to three felony counts under a plea agreement to resolve US charges it installed software in vehicles to evade emissions tests. The information was revealed by court spokesman David Ashenfelter, while Schmidt's lawyer, David DuMouchel, declined to comment.

Mr. Schmidt is facing 11 felony counts and a maximum sentence of 169 years in prison. Schmidt's attorney did not immediately return requests for comment.

Volkswagen in March pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the US and has admitted to rigging almost 600,000 diesel-powered vehicles with illegal software that allowed them to pass government emissions tests and then pollute far beyond legal limits on the road.

VW will pay a $1.5-billion civil fine and $2.8-billion criminal fine, which would have been stiffer had the company refused to spend more than $11 billion to fix or buyback the almost 500,000 tainted vehicles. When heading Volkswagen's environment and engineering office in MI from 2012 to early 2015, he liaised with USA and California regulators on compliance matters.

USA prosecutors have amassed more than 4.3 million documents covering more than 40 million pages in the ongoing probe.

An official of German carmaker Volkswagen, arrested earlier this year in the United States in connection with the "dieselgate" case, said on Tuesday his intention to plead guilty, a judicial source said.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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