The former head of Volkswagen’s environmental and engineering center in Michigan has pleaded guilty to a variety of charges related to the company’s dieselgate scandal.
According to Automotive News, Oliver Schmidt accepted a plea deal and admitted his guilt for violating the Clean Air Act and committing conspiracy to defraud the United States. The report goes on to say Schmidt knew about the company’s defeat devices and worked with other executives to cover up their existence once questions were raised about possible emission violations.
According to his statement, Schmidt learned about defeat devices in the summer of 2015 and tried to hide them from the government by submitting fraudulent and misleading reports.
The deal means the former executive faces up to seven years in prison and a fine ranging from $40,000 to $400,000. That’s not exactly a slap on the wrist but Schmidt was originally charged with 11 different felonies that could have sent him to prison for 169 years.
Under the terms of the deal, Schmidt won’t have to pay any restitution. However, he will be deported from the United States after his sentencing in complete.
Schmidt’s sentencing is scheduled to take place on December 6th and the disgraced executive will remain in custody until that occurs.