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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, Informative) by frojack on Thursday December 07 2017, @07:41PM (1 child)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07 2017, @07:41PM (#606962) Journal

    This guy didn't do the poisoning.

    In August, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to making a false statement under the Clean Air Act. (The actual crimes of stonewalling US regulators, encouraging document destruction, etc seem to be all wrapped up in that single conspiracy charge).

    The judge seemingly recognized that he knew much more, or played a bigger role, and gave him as much as his plea deal would allow. (Its a pretty stiff sentence for what appears as fairly minor charges - charges for which most people would get a wrist slap).

    The fact that there WAS a plea deal suggests the actionable evidence on him was pretty thin.

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 08 2017, @08:42PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 08 2017, @08:42PM (#607402)

    Seems like he's trying to use Milgram's defense (we do what we're told....) It's not a legal construct, but Milgram demonstrated very clearly that most people will do very heinous things just because an authority figure tells them to. Interestingly, I think the first of Milgram's objectors was an engineer...