A former Volkswagen executive has pleaded guilty to two charges related to the company’s diesel emissions scandal. He is the second VW Group employee to do so, following retired engineer James Liang pleading guilty last summer.
The VW Group executive, Oliver Schmidt, was based outside of Detroit and was in charge of emissions compliance for Volkswagen in the years before the company was caught using illegal software to cheat on federal emissions tests. Schmidt, a German citizen who was 48 when he was arrested in Miami in January on vacation, was originally charged with 11 felony counts. In accepting a plea deal from US federal officials, Schmidt will only plead guilty to two charges: conspiracy to defraud the US government and violate the Clean Air Act, and making a false statement under the Clean Air Act.
Schmidt will be sentenced in December. He could face up to seven years in prison, as well as fines from $40,000 to $400,000, according to the plea agreement. After that, Schmidt could also be required to serve four years of supervised release.