Dieselgate: Volkswagen official pleads guilty in US


Oliver Schmidt, the head of Volkswagen's USA 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.

Oliver Schmidt, former manager of a VW engineering office in suburban Detroit, will appear in federal court on August 4.

Schmidt is facing 11 separate felony counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, with a maximum sentence of 169 years in prison.

In March, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to three felony counts under a plea agreement to resolve US charges it installed software in vehicles to evade emissions tests.

A lawyer for Mr. Schmidt declined to comment.

"I'm unable to comment on what the terms of the plea agreement might be", said Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for prosecutors.

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Oliver Schmidt, who was chief of Volkswagen's environmental and engineering center in MI, has been held since January when he was arrested in Miami trying to return to Germany.

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.

Mr. Schmidt's cooperation would be a coup for the Justice Department's case against Volkswagen.

Volkswagen AG was the first German carmaker which was revealed to have installed illegal software which falsified emissions test results for its Diesel vehicles in 2015. Schmidt was the head of VW's environmental and engineering center in MI.

VW pleaded guilty in March and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties, on top of billions more to buy back cars.

Numerous other managers charged are believed to be in Germany, making extradition to the US unlikely.