Commodities: Volkswagen Manager Sentenced to Prison Term in Emissions-Fraud Case

By Mike Spector and Mike Colias 

A Volkswagen manager was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and will pay a $400,000 fine for participating in the German auto giant’s emissions fraud, the second employee to face time behind bars in the U.S. for his role in the longstanding conspiracy to deceive government officials and customers.

Oliver Schmidt, 48 years old, received the sentence from U.S. District Judge Sean Cox on Wednesday afternoon during a hearing in a Detroit federal court. Mr. Schmidt in August pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and violating environmental law for his role in helping Volkswagen evade U.S. emissions requirements for diesel-powered vehicles.

Mr. Schmidt admitted to concealing from regulators Volkswagen’s use of illegal software on nearly 600,000 vehicles that allowed them to dupe government emissions tests while polluting far beyond legal limits on the road.

Volkswagen in March pleaded guilty as a corporation to criminal charges stemming from the deception. The company has said the improper software is on nearly 11 million vehicles globally.

Write to Mike Spector at [email protected] and Mike Colias at [email protected]

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