Ex-VW exec sentenced to seven years for 'dieselgate'

Judge sentences Volkswagen executive to 7 years in prison, plus a fine

It said Schmidt oversaw emissions at the MI office from 2012 to early 2015, and did not disclose the cheat software during a meeting with California regulators in 2015.

Schmidt is one of eight people charged by USA authorities in the emissions scandal, which involved installing software in around 500,000 Volkswagen 2.0-liter diesel vehicles sold in the United States from 2009 through 2015 to make US authorities believe the vehicles met USA emissions standards.

Schmidt, a German national responsible for Volkswagen's environmental and engineering office in MI, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of defrauding the U.S. and another for violating the Clean air Act.

As part of his guilty plea, Schmidt admitted to being informed about the emissions cheating scheme, and conspired with other Volkswagen executives to illegally certify the company's 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine in the States. However, the sentencing judge, Sean Cox, sided with the prosecution.

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Trump has threatened several times to withdraw from the Paris accord saying it is crippling United States business. His remarks about this inspired laughter in the room, which was packed with French CEOs and former ministers.

"It is my opinion that you are a key conspirator in this scheme to defraud the United States".

Schmidt, as the general manager of Volkswagen's Engineering and Environmental Office in MI, was responsible for the company's relationship with California's regulatory agency and as per the reports, fed federal regulators with incorrect information. "You saw this as your opportunity to shine ... and climb the corporate ladder at VW".

"I made bad decisions and for that I am sorry", he said. The government said he later misled investigators and destroyed key documents. But his lawyers point out that he wasn't involved when the scheme was hatched years earlier by the company. He's charged in a federal criminal complaint for his alleged role in the emissions scandal.

USA prosecutors have charged eight former and current Volkswagen employees in relation to the Dieselgate scandal.

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