VW executive charged in US emissions scandal to plead guilty

Javier Stokes
July 27, 2017

Oliver Schmidt, former manager of a VW engineering office in suburban Detroit, will appear in federal court on August 4. He was charged in 2016 with conspiracy to defraud the USA and violating the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act.

Schmidt is one of many VW employees charged in a scheme to cheat emission rules on almost 600,000 diesel vehicles, but most are in Germany and out of reach of US authorities. Both his attorney, David DuMouchel, and a spokeswoman for the United States attorney for the Eastern District of MI declined to comment.

It'll be interesting to see what kind of sentence Schmidt gets with his plea deal, especially since he's likely to be the only Volkswagen exec that ends up facing justice in the US.

Schmidt is one of eight former and current Volkswagen executives who've been criminally charged for their roles in the never-ending Dieselgate saga, reports Reuters.

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Volkswagen AG (OTCMKTS:VLKAY) is slated to release its half yearly results on July 27th. 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. The others are in Germany, and nearly all are unlikely to face trials in the United States because Germany does not extradite its citizens.

The terms of Mr. Schmidt's guilty plea and his expected prison time or other punishments remained unclear. The only reason that Schmidt is in United States custody is that he was picked up at an airport in Florida while on stopover from a return trip from Cuba.

It's been almost two years since news of Volkswagen's diesel emissions cheating first broke, and the months since have been filled with recalls, buybacks, and lots and lots of money flying out of the company's bank account and into the pockets of affected customers.

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