VW executive sentenced to 7 years for emissions scandal

VW executive sentenced to 7 years for emissions scandal

VW executive sentenced to 7 years for emissions scandal

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 former general manager in charge of Volkswagen's environmental and engineering office has been fined and jailed in the United States, after pleading guilty to helping cover up the firm's diesel emissions scandal.

The prison sentence and $400,000 USA fine for Schmidt were the maximum possible under a plea deal in August the German national made with prosecutors after admitting to charges of conspiring to mislead U.S regulators and violate clean-air laws.

But at the sentencing in Detroit judge Sean Cox sided with the prosecution. He said he considered Schmidt a "key conspirator", who viewed the cover up as an opportunity to "shine" and "climb the corporate ladder".

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.

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As the general manager of Volkswagen's engineering and environmental office in Michigan, Schmidt was responsible for the company's relationship with California's regulatory agency and reportedly fed federal regulators false information.

"I made bad decisions and for that I am sorry", he said. "As a outcome of that role, he was literally in the room for important decisions during the height of the criminal scheme".

VW pleaded guilty as a corporation in March and agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines.

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.

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