Published on December 11th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Volkswagen Executive Sentenced 7-Years In Prison For Diesel Scandal
A US-based Volkswagen AG executive who oversaw emissions issues was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined USD400,000 by a judge on Wednesday for his role in a diesel emissions scandal that has cost the German automaker as much as USD30 billion. The prison sentence and fine for the executive, Oliver 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.
“It is my opinion that you are a key conspirator in this scheme to defraud the United States,” U.S. District Judge Sean Cox of Detroit told Schmidt in court. “You saw this as your opportunity to shine … and climb the corporate ladder at VW.” Schmidt read a written statement in court acknowledging his guilt and broke down when discussing his family’s sacrifices on his behalf since his arrest in January. “I made bad decisions and for that I am sorry,” he said.
In March, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to three felony counts under a plea agreement to resolve U.S. charges that it installed secret software in vehicles in order to elude emissions tests.
U.S. prosecutors have charged 8 current and former Volkswagen executives. 6 of those remain at large.
Volkswagen rebounded from the scandal during the past year. Chief Executive Matthias Mueller last month predicted record deliveries of vehicles for the company this year, and the Volkswagen car brand has said it expects record deliveries for 2017, and raised its midterm profitability outlook.
The auto industry is still feeling the repercussions of Volkswagen’s diesel cheating.
Regulators in the United States and Europe are investigating other automakers for potential violations of diesel emissions rules.
Last week, German prosecutors said they had begun an initial inquiry into accusations by an environmental group that BMW AG is selling a vehicle that emits up to 7 times the allowed levels of smog-forming nitrogen oxides.