A Volkswagen AG executive who has pled guilty to criminal charges that he conspired to cover up the automaker’s diesel emissions cheating scandal will be sentenced on Dec. 6, according to a text order Wednesday in Michigan federal court.
In August, Oliver Schmidt, the former general manager of VW’s environmental and engineering office in the U.S., pled guilty in Michigan federal court to federal charges of conspiring to defraud the United States and violating the Clean Air Act in connection with the German automaker’s “clean diesel” emissions cheating scandal.
Schmidt was accused of being aware that the company’s diesel vehicles had software installed that would recognize when the cars were being tested and alter emissions output, according to the court documents.
The scandal emerged after a third party’s road-condition testing showed emissions of nitrogen oxide up to 40 times higher than U.S. standards, the government said.
Federal prosecutors dropped a third charge of committing wire fraud in exchange for Schmidt’s guilty plea.
Under the terms of Schmidt’s plea deal, he could face up to seven years in prison and a fine ranging from $40,000 to $400,000. Although the agreement does not call for him to pay any restitution, it would require that he be deported back to Germany after completing the sentence, according to court records.
Schmidt, 48, was arrested in Miami in January and was extradited to Michigan, where, along with five other Volkswagen executives, he was indicted on fraud and conspiracy charges connected with the diesel emissions scandal.
The government claims that he concealed the truth about VW’s cheating at meetings with regulators, obstructing their investigation, and continued to lie about what he knew at a voluntary meeting that took place in November 2015 in London after he had been transferred back to Germany.
The sentencing will take place on Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Sean Cox at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in downtown Detroit.