VW's Liaison to US Regulators Is Preparing Guilty Plea
27 July, 2017, 18:28 | Author: Samuel Sharp
A former Volkswagen executive will plead guilty to charges connected to last year's fuel emission scandal, according to court documents.
Prosecutors and Schmidt's attorneys held a status conference Tuesday inside the U.S. District Court in Detroit, and prosecutors advised a judge that Schmidt "was planning to plead guilty", said David Ashenfelter, a spokesperson for the court. Schmidt, who is German, is is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, violating the Clean Air Act and aiding and abetting wire fraud.
Oliver Schmidt, a German citizen who for several years headed Volkswagen's environment and engineering office in Auburn Hills, Mich., faces charges that he conspired to defraud US officials and customers with diesel-powered vehicles featuring illegal software that duped government emissions tests. Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan claimed that the brand "continues to cooperate with investigations by the Department of Justice into the conduct of individuals". Mr. Schmidt is scheduled to be sentenced August 4, the spokesman said.
As the dust from Volkswagen AG'sDieselgate emissions scandal settles, many have been left behind to face criminal action and long-stay jail sentences. One of eight executives charged thus far, Schmidt was picked up as he tried to leave the country in January. The former VW head has been detained since his arrest earlier in 2017, putting him on the line for his final hearing on early next month. Today, the US Justice Department revealed that Volkswagen won't push back against the charges it's been hit with, and has agreed to plead guilty to a trio of criminal charges.
The terms of Mr. Schmidt's guilty plea and his expected prison time or other punishments remained unclear. Volkswagen in September 2015 admitted to using so-called defeat devices to evade government emissions requirements.
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