VW Executive Gets Maximum Sentence for Role in Diesel-Emissions Scandal

VW Executive Gets Maximum Sentence for Role in Diesel-Emissions Scandal

A USA based Volkswagen AG executive Oliver Schmidt who pleaded guilty for his role in the Volkswagen emission scandal, has been sentenced to seven years in prison by a MI federal court.

Schmidt, 48, also was fined $400,000 in federal court for his role in the automaker's diesel emissions cheating scandal.

Oliver Schmidt, a German national who worked in VW's MI office, was accused of concealing software that the company used to artificially lower levels of harmful nitrous oxides in exhaust emissions. He received the maximum possible sentence: Five years for the conspiracy charge and 24 months on the second count. In fact, Schmidt already moved back to Germany, and authorities only got the chance to arrest him when he came back to the United States with his wife for a vacation.

Judge Cox earlier this year sentenced Volkswagen Engineer James Liang to 40-months in prison. "You saw this as your opportunity to shine and climb the corporate ladder at VW", said federal judge Sean Cox who handed down the seven year sentence.

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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.

The "dieselgate" scandal has cost Volkswagen as much as $30bn in fines, buybacks and settlements since 2015 when it admitted fitting 11m diesel vehicles worldwide with so-called defeat devices to suppress emissions of nitrogen oxide during tests.

Schmidt, 48, the second and most senior employee to plead guilty in the affair, is among eight current and former VW executives that United States prosecutors have charged so far.

The company was forced to pay a $4.8 billion fine including a $2.8 criminal fine and a $1.5 billion civil fine.

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