Volkswagen Executive to Plead Guilty in Diesel Emissions Case

VW executive to plead guilty in 'dieselgate' case

A German Volkswagen executive who has been in a MI jail for months plans to plead guilty in the company's USA emissions scandal, a court spokesman said Tuesday.

Oliver Schmidt, the German automaker's former emissions compliance official, plans to plead guilty during an August 4 hearing in the U.S. District Court in Detroit. Volkswagen's fall guy, former head of compliance Oliver Schmidt, has agreed to also plead guilty in the case. Both his attorney, David DuMouchel, and a spokeswoman for the United States attorney for the Eastern District of MI declined to comment.

Oliver Schmidt, who was chief of Volkswagen's environmental and engineering center in MI, has been held since January when he was arrested in Miami trying to return to Germany. Schmidt was charged with eleven felony counts and federal prosecutors said earlier this year that he could face a maximum of up to 169 years in prison. A lawyer for the executive did not immediately return a request for comment.

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USA prosecutors have amassed more than 4.3 million documents covering more than 40 million pages in the ongoing probe. A Volkswagen spokeswoman said the auto maker continues to cooperate with U.S. Justice Department probes of individuals and declined to comment further.

It would stand to reason that Schmidt's deal probably involves providing testimony relating to the 7 other Volkswagen execs that have been charged as part of the investigation into the Volkswagen diesel emissions fraud scandal. 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. When heading Volkswagen's environment and engineering office in MI from 2012 to early 2015, he liaised with US and California regulators on compliance matters.

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