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Volkswagen Senior Manager Oliver Schmidt Sentenced To Seven Years

Volkswagen Senior Manager Oliver Schmidt Sentenced To Seven Years

Volkswagen senior manager Oliver Schmidt has been sentenced to seven years in a US prison for concealing software that was used to evade pollution limits on almost 600,000 diesel vehicles.

Schmidt is one of eight people charged by US authorities in the emissions scandal, which involved installing software in around 500,000 Volkswagen 2.0-liter diesel vehicles sold in the United States from 2009 through 2015 to make USA authorities believe the vehicles met USA emissions standards. But he didn't disclose rogue software that had long fooled authorities into believing that VW was meeting emissions rules on almost 600,000 vehicles.

The government said he later misled United States investigators and destroyed documents.

Prosecutors say Schmidt, a German national, lied to USA environmental authorities, lied to investigators and encouraged others at VW to destroy arguments. "Your goal was to impress senior management". "You saw this as your opportunity to shine. and climb the corporate ladder at VW".

A study published in May found that excess nitrogen oxide from improperly configured diesel vehicles had contributed to about 38,000 premature deaths worldwide in 2015. Justice Department prosecutor Ben Singer called it the "height of irony".

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"For the disruption of my life, I only have to blame myself".

He is the highest-ranking VW employee to be convicted in the scheme in the USA and the chances that the U.S. authorities will prosecute more senior VW executives are slim as most are in Germany, which is unlikely to extradite its citizens to stand trial in the US.

Engineer James Liang cooperated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was sentenced to 40 months in prison last summer. Among them is Heinz-Jakob Neusser, who was described as Schmidt's boss.

Volkswagen Group, the umbrella company that owns VW, Audi, and Porsche, has paid about $30 billion in fines and buyback costs since regulators discovered it was including emissions-cheating software on its diesel vehicles. But Singer noted that Schmidt still purposely "lied and deceived".

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. Only one other VW employee has been sentenced in connection with the emissions scandal: former engineer James Liang, who received 40 months in prison and two years of supervised release as the result of his plea deal.