Former Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt has been sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $400,000 (£299,000) by a US District Court for his role in the Dieselgate scandal.
Schmidt was the firm’s emissions compliance manager for the US from 2012 until February 2015. He had returned to Germany but was arrested at an airport in Florida in January. In August, he pleaded guilty to two charges related to the emission scandal: conspiracy to defraud the US to commit wire fraud and to violate the Clean Air Act; and violating the Clean Air Act. A third charge, relating to wire fraud, was dropped.
Schmidt’s defence attorney had appealed for a maximum sentence of 40 months, with a $100,000 fine. But in the Eastern District of Michigan United States District Court, federal judge Sean Cox told Schmidt: “It is my opinion that you are a key conspirator in this scheme to defraud the United States. You saw this as your opportunity to shine.” Both the seven-year sentence and fine were at the top end of sentencing guidelines.