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27 July 2017, 06:28 | Lionel James
VW exec expected to plead guilty for Dieselgate, could get 169 years
A Volkswagen AG compliance executive charged in the company's emissions-cheating scandal is preparing to plead guilty. The charges against Mr. Schmidt include conspiracy, wire fraud and violations of the Clean Air Act. The information was revealed by court spokesman David Ashenfelter, while Schmidt's lawyer, David DuMouchel, declined to comment.
Schmidt, who is scheduled to appear in federal court on August 4, headed Volkswagen's environment and engineering office in Auburn Hills, Mich., for several years.
Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan declined to discuss Schmidt's case and said the automaker "continues to cooperate with investigations by the Department of Justice into the conduct of individuals". One of eight executives charged thus far, Schmidt was picked up as he tried to leave the country in January.
An official of German carmaker Volkswagen, arrested earlier this year in the United States in connection with the "dieselgate" case, said on Tuesday his intention to plead guilty, a judicial source said.
Earlier in July, the Justice Department charged former Audi manager Giovanni Pamio with directing employees to design software enabling thousands of Audi diesel cars to beat USA emissions tests. In the US alone, legal settlements could cost Volkswagen more than $25 billion depending on how many vehicles the auto maker ends up repurchasing to compensate consumers.
Numerous other managers charged are believed to be in Germany, making extradition to the US unlikely. Schmidt was the head of VW's environmental and engineering center in MI.
The terms of Mr. Schmidt's guilty plea and his expected prison time or other punishments remained unclear.
The government has come under fire for the lack of charges brought against Volkswagen in the United Kingdom following the diesel emissions scandal.
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He also added that Dileep could influence the witnesses from the Malyalam fim industry and sabotage the investigation and trial. At this juncture, fans and supporters of Dileep will find it hard to criticise the police's investigations.