AFP / File / Fred DUFOUR
Olivier Schmidt Volkswagen’s US regulatory compliance office from 2012 to March 2015
A US court on Wednesday sentenced Volkswagen executive executive Oliver Schmidt to seven years in prison for his role in the German automaker’s “dieselgate” scandal cheating emissions. Schmidt, who led Volkswagen’s US regulatory compliance office from 2012 to March 2015, was also ordered by a federal judge in Detroit to pay a $ 400,000 fine.
He had pleaded guilty in August to charges against the US Clean Air Act. Schmidt, 48, is one of the most senior executives in the world, and is one of seven current and former executives of the United States. In exchange for his plea, the federal prosecutors dropped multiple counts of wire fraud, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. Schmidt has agreed to be deported back to Germany after his sentenced is completed. In August, the same court sentenced James Liang, a Volkswagen engineer who had cooperated with investigating authorities, to 40 months and a $ 200,000 fine for his role in the business. VW admitted in 2015 to equipping about 11 million cars worldwide, including about 600,000 vehicles in the United States, which allowed them to deceive emissions tests. A study published in May found that excess nitrogen oxide of diesel vehicles had contributed to about 38,000 premature deaths worldwide in 2015. – Leading the cover-up – The scandal has so far been greatly increased as $ 30 billion in fines, settlements and remediation. In arguing for a seven-year sentence, prosecutors last month said Schmidt had participated in “one of the largest corporate fraud schemes in American history” and was working hard on the company’s misconduct in the summer of 2015. Schmidt traveled to the US as a scandal to the US and Californian authorities. “Schmidt has detailed information about VW management in Germany, and it is obvious that VW, with Schmidt ‘s input, has been chosen. . Defense lawyers had sought a sentence of only 40 months and a $ 100,000 fine, saying that Schmidt’s participation in the conspiracy had not occurred. In March, VW brought an end to Washington’s criminal pursuit of the company, agreeing to pay $ 4.3 billion in civil and criminal fines and pleaded guilty charges to the United States and violated the Clean Air Act. But the company continues to face legal challenges in Germany and elsewhere.
AFP / File / Fred DUFOUR