Manufacturers face United Kingdom prosecution for cheating emissions tests
27 July, 2017, 18:26 | Author: Franklin Nunez
A former Volkswagen executive will plead guilty to charges connected to last year's fuel emission scandal, according to court documents.
Oliver Schmidt, who led the German automaker's USA regulatory compliance office from 2012 to March 2015, will plead guilty at an August 4 hearing at a U.S. federal court in MI, the officials said. He was charged in 2016 with conspiracy to defraud the USA and violating the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act.
In March, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to three felony counts under a plea agreement to resolve USA charges it installed software in vehicles to evade emissions tests. Schmidt's lawyer, David DuMouchel, declined comment when asked about his client's decision. Mr. Schmidt is scheduled to be sentenced August 4, the spokesman said.
Schmidt is one of eight former and current Volkswagen executives who've been criminally charged for their roles in the never-ending Dieselgate saga, reportsReuters.
Schmidt, who was the head of Volkswagen's environmental and engineering center in MI, has been charged with 11 felony counts and could face a maximum of up to 169 years in prison. 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.
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Volkswagen in March pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the US and has admitted to rigging almost 600,000 diesel-powered vehicles with illegal software that allowed them to pass government emissions tests and then pollute far beyond legal limits on the road. 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.
To clarify the reference to "hiding out", the government of Germany typically doesn't extradite its citizens to face charges in other countries. Schmidt was the head of VW's environmental and engineering center in MI.
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