Volkswagen exec gets seven years in prison over emissions scandal

Volkswagen exec gets seven years in prison over emissions scandal

The prison term of seven years was announced along with $400,000 fine today in a US District Court in Detroit. The German national pleaded guilty. He said he considered Schmidt a "key conspirator", who viewed the cover up as an opportunity to "shine" and "climb the corporate ladder".

Last week, Schmidt's attorneys made a last-minute bid requesting a lighter sentence for Schmidt: 40 months of supervised release and a $100,000 fine.

Defense lawyers had sought a sentence of only 40 months and a United States dollars 100,000 fine, saying Schmidt's participation in the conspiracy had not occurred until nine years after it began and that he had expressed remorse.

Instead, Schmidt was sentenced to the maximum penalties outlined in the plea deal.

Volkswagen auto engineer James Liang was sentenced in August to 40 months in prison and fined $200,000 for his role in the scandal. It was found the cars emitted far beyond legal levels of the harmful gases when underway on public roads.

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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.

Schmidt first learned about the company's emissions-testing evasion scheme in the summer of 2015.

Schmidt, who oversaw emissions at VW's office in MI from 2012 to early 2015, met with key California regulators in 2015 but did not disclose the rogue software.

Schmidt, as the general manager of Volkswagen's Engineering and Environmental Office in MI, was responsible for the company's relationship with California's regulatory agency and as per the reports, fed federal regulators with incorrect information.

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