Former Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt, who was in charge of the company’s US environmental and engineering office has been sentenced to seven years in prison for the Dieselgate scandal that rocked the company. Schmidt previously pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act and conspiring to defraud the US government in August for his role in Dieselgate.
In Dieselgate, VW was found to have been cheating the emissions tests. They installed hidden software to hide that many of their cars weren’t meeting emissions standards.
Schmidt was previously facing up to 169 years in prison on 11 felony counts before entering his guilty plea deal. The prison term of seven years was announced along with $400,000 fine today in a US District Court in Detroit. This represents the maximum penalties for those charges brought against Schmidt.
Oliver Schmidt is the second VW employee to be sentences in the United States for their role in Dieselgate scandal. The first employee, former engineer James Laing, was sentenced to 40 months in prison and a $200,000 fine, in August. Sean Cox, the same District Court gave the sentencing.
Before Oliver received the sentencing, he issued a letter on how he felt about the scandal. In the letter, he said that he was “misused” by VW and that he felt completely wronged.