Faces up to seven years and a $400,000 USD fine
Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt has pleaded guilty to charges linking him to the automaker’s diesel emissions cheating and subsequent cover-up, Reuters reports. Schmidt was the second individual charged in the U.S. for his role in the Dieselgate scandal when he was arrested in January.
The executive, who headed emissions compliance for VW in the U.S., was charged with 11 felony counts that in total carry a maximum sentence of 169 years in prison. Under a plea agreement, prosecutors will drop most of the counts and Schmidt will now serve up to seven years in prison and pay a fine between $40,000 USD and $400,000 USD. Schmidt is scheduled to be sentenced on December 6.
This latest legal development in the scandal follows Volkswagen’s guilty plea in March. As part of its plea agreement, the automaker will pay $4.3 billion USD in criminal and civil penalties. Reuters estimates the emissions scandal has so far cost Volkswagen as much as $25 billion USD.
So far eight current and former VW execs have been charged in the U.S. for their involvement in the scandal, but there may be more arrests in Germany if a new investigation into Audi’s management board finds evidence of wrongdoing. Reuters reports Munich prosecutors have begun a criminal probe into former and current Audi board members.