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Oliver Schmidt jailed for seven years for Volkswagen emissions scam

Oliver Schmidt jailed for seven years for Volkswagen emissions scam

Volkswagen senior manager Oliver Schmidt has been sentenced to seven years in a USA prison for concealing software that was used to evade pollution limits on almost 600,000 diesel vehicles.

However, Oliver Schmidt, a German national who headed up VW's environmental and engineering office in MI, is only the second person to receive jail time in the USA for his role in the scheme.

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Alongside the sentence Schmidt was fined $400,000.

Schmidt recently wrote a letter to Judge Cox, claiming he felt "misused" by Volkswagen.

Regulators in the United States and Europe are investigating other automakers for potential violations of diesel emissions rules. "You saw this as your opportunity to shine ... and climb the corporate ladder at VW".

VW used sophisticated software to cheat emissions rules on almost 600,000 USA vehicles. The government says he later misled US investigators and destroyed documents.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and violating the Clean Air Act in August.

Schmidt headed VW's engineering and environmental office in MI from 2012 to early 2015, according to an Associated Press account. But his lawyers point out that he wasnt involved when the scheme was hatched years earlier by the company.

The software reduced harmful emissions of nitrogen oxide when the cars were being tested, but on the road, the emissions were well over limits to control pollution.

Schmidt, 48, was arrested in Miami in January while trying to return to Germany after a vacation.

"I made bad decisions and for that I am sorry", Mr Schmidt said in court on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

"Schmidt sent detailed updates to VW management in Germany apprising them of precisely what he had said, and making it obvious that he was following the script of deception and deceit that VW, with Schmidt's input, had chosen", prosecutors told the court last month.

VW's costs so far include settlements of government and customer lawsuits, buybacks and retrofits of affected vehicles, and the criminal plea deal, which included $2.8 billion in criminal fines and $US1.5 billion in civil penalties.

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