One of the first Volkswagen employees to be sentenced in the Dieselgate scandal has been handed a lengthy prison term by U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox.
As Automotive News reports, Judge Cox sentenced former Volkswagen engineer James Liang to 40 months in prison. The 63-year old will also be forced to pay $200,000 for his role in the emissions cheating scandal which still continues to reverberate today.
Liang was facing a prison sentence of up to five years for conspiracy but he cooperated with the investigation and prosecutors said he “provided an insider’s perspective of a company that had lost its ethical moorings in pursuit of increased market share and corporate profits.”
Despite his cooperation, Judge Cox told Liang he committed a “serious crime” that “involves a massive fraud on the American consumer, which you knew, and you played a role in.” As a result, he sentenced Liang to prison for even longer than what prosecutors had originally asked for.
The Judge says he hopes this sentence will send a message to others in the automotive industry, especially those who might be asked to do something illegal for their employers.