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posted by martyb on Thursday December 07 2017, @06:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the so-it-was-not-a-rogue-engineer dept.

"A Volkswagen compliance executive who pleaded guilty in the US for his role in the company's $US30 billion ($40 billion) emissions cheating scandal has been sentenced to seven years in prison."

Ars Technica reports:

On Wednesday, a US District judge in Detroit sentenced Oliver Schmidt, a former Volkswagen executive, to seven years in prison for his role in the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal of 2015. Schmidt was also ordered to pay a criminal penalty of $400,000, according to a US Department of Justice (DOJ) press release. The prison term and the fine together represent the maximum sentence that Schmidt could have received under the plea deal he signed in August.

Schmidt, a German citizen who lived in Detroit as an emissions compliance executive for VW, was arrested in Miami on vacation last January. In August, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to making a false statement under the Clean Air Act. Schmidt’s plea deal stated that the former executive could face up to seven years in prison and between $40,000 and $400,000 in fines.

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. Schmidt also wrote a letter to the judge, which surfaced over the weekend, in which the executive said he felt “misused” by his own company and claimed that higher-ranked VW executives coached him on a script to help him lie to a California Air Resources Board (CARB) official.

Also at NYT.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Thursday December 07 2017, @07:21PM (2 children)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07 2017, @07:21PM (#606954) Journal

    coached him on a script to help him lie to a California Air Resources Board

    And this is your punishment for taking their advice.

    You roll on them, and they will get their prison time as well.

    James Liang (also arrested in the US) is serving 40 months. He was an engineer in Germany that moved to the US. Some guy named Yan in South Korea also is in the slammer. The sentence lengths are escalating as they go up the ranks.

    But the problem is that VW management is mostly in Germany, and Germany doesn't have any appetite to go after these guys, or extradite them. I suspect none of those guys have any plans to visit Disney World any time soon.

    So all the US can get their hands on are those that happen to be caught in the US having committed some lie in the US.

    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    Starting Score:    1  point
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       Interesting=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  
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    Total Score:   3  
  • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Friday December 08 2017, @06:27AM

    by Whoever (4524) on Friday December 08 2017, @06:27AM (#607110) Journal

    I am guessing that those higher-up will need to be very careful about how they travel. The USA knows who is on most passenger manifests, so many commercial flights could be dangerous (the plane might develop a "technical problem" requiring it to be diverted and land in a country with a USA-friendly extradition treaty).

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 08 2017, @03:49PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 08 2017, @03:49PM (#607230)

    If they have evidence, for crimes also punishable in Germany, the US can ask for extradition. It's that simple.
    However, I doubt it will just happen like that, if extradition is requested you can count on it being part of some bigger political deal.