Former VW executive to plead guilty in emissions cheating case

Former VW executive to plead guilty in emissions cheating case

Schmidt, VW's former top emissions compliance official, will enter his plea in August.

Federal court spokesman David Ashenfelter said prosecutors and lawyers told U.S. District Judge Sean Cox on Tuesday morning that Schmidt had made a decision to plead guilty. Mr. Schmidt had been awaiting trial while behind bars in MI. His lawyers disclosed the plan during a brief conference with a judge, spokesman David Ashenfelter said. A Volkswagen spokeswoman said the auto maker continues to cooperate with U.S. Justice Department probes of individuals and declined to comment further.

Volkswagen AG was the first German carmaker which was revealed to have installed illegal software which falsified emissions test results for its Diesel vehicles in 2015.

The manufacturer said 11 million of its vehicles were affected worldwide - including nearly 1.2 million in the UK.

Volkswagen has agreed to spend as much as $25 billion in the U.S.to resolve claims from owners and regulators over polluting diesel vehicles and offered to buy back about 500,000 vehicles. Schmidt is one of eight current and former executives charged in the USA emissions probe.

Earlier in July the Justice Department charged Giovanni Pamio, a former manager from Audi, a Volkswagen subsidiary, with directing employees to design emission-cheating software. It's unclear if Schmidt will plead guilty to every count.

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Most of the Volkswagen executives charged are in Germany and may not travel to the United States since Germany typically does not extradite its citizens.

Judges have denied Mr. Schmidt's attempts to be released from prison on bond amid concerns he would flee before appearing for required court dates. The charges that resulted from VW being caught in the act include conspiring to defraud the USA, violate its customer agreement, and skirt the Clean Air act.

Understandably, a Volkswagen spokesperson declined to comment.

Oliver Schmidt was arrested while trying to take a plane to Germany in January this year, during the 2017 NAIAS in Detroit.

The government has come under fire for the lack of charges brought against Volkswagen in the United Kingdom following the diesel emissions scandal.

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