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An executive from the Volkswagen US branch was sentenced to 7 years in prison and fined in US$400 thousand for his hole in the diesel emissions cheat scandal that took US$30 billion from the Germanic car manufacturer.
The prison sentence and the fine imposed on Oliver Schmidt last August was the highest one suggested on the agreement with the judges when Oliver Schmidt admitted conspiring to deceive American regulators to break the pure air laws. The executive was born in Germany.
Schmidt read a letter he wrote in the court room admitting his blame. He also mentioned the hard time his family is going through since he was arrested in January.
“I only have myself to blame”, he said.
The judge from the US Justice department, Benjamin Singer, said in the court room that Schmidt was responsible on the VW decision of a scheme of falsifications in the results of vehicle emissions tests and that he had the opportunity to say the truth to the regulators.
In March, Volkswagen pledged guilty to three criminal accusations in which the manufacturer confessed installing secret software in the cars to be tested in order to mask the true readings in the emission tests.
The American judges accused eight VW executives from now and the past. Five of those are still not sentenced to prison.
The company recovered from this scandal last year. VW CEO, Mathias Mueller, announced last month the record sales the company achieved. They expect a new record for 2017, improving the perspective of higher revenue.
Schmidt was accused of 11 crimes and the American judges said he could have been convicted to up to 169 years in prison. Since he pledged guilty, the judges agreed in dropping most charges against him. Schmidt also agreed in being deported after his sentence is fulfilled.
He was responsible for the ambient office and the engineering office of the company in Auburn Hills, Michigan, since February 2015, when he supervised emissions tests.