VW Exec To Plead Guilty In Emissions Cheating, Faces Up To 169 Years In U.S. Prison

Photo: AP

Oliver Schmidt, the head of Volkswagen’s U.S. regulatory compliance office from 2014 to 2015, is expected to plead guilty next month for his role in the Dieselgate mess, a court official said on Tuesday.

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Schmidt, who has been detained since his initial arrest earlier this year, was charged with 11 felonies for various wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud the government, all of which could be punished by up to 169 years in prison—though it’s unlikely the U.S. Justice Department will agree to a plea deal that results in giving Schmidt an effective life sentence.

Prosecutors and Schmidt’s attorneys held a status conference Tuesday inside the U.S. District Court in Detroit, and prosecutors advised a judge that Schmidt “was planning to plead guilty,” said David Ashenfelter, a spokesperson for the court.

“They set the plea date for 9:30 a.m., August 4,” Ashenfelter said. It’s unclear if Schmidt will plead guilty to every count.

Schmidt is one of eight former and current Volkswagen executives who’ve been criminally charged for their roles in the never-ending Dieselgate saga, reports Reuters. VW has spent more than $25 billion to settle civil and criminal cases related to the diesel emissions scandal.

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Ryan Felton

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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