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Court: Former VW executive to plead guilty in emissions scandal
27 July 2017, 06:27 | Gordon Grant
VW exec expected to plead guilty for Dieselgate, could get 169 years
James Liang, a former Volkswagen engineer, pleaded guilty past year of helping devise a defeat device used to circumvent emission tests.
Lawyers for the German national, who has been detained since the beginning of the year, have told judge Sean Cox that their client will plead guilty in an August 4 hearing, a court spokesman said in Detroit. The charges against Mr. Schmidt include conspiracy, wire fraud and violations of the Clean Air Act.
The Volkswagen AG exec arrested past year for his part in VW's diesel emissions fraud, Oliver Schmidt, will be pleading guilty on August 4 in US District Court in Detroit. His lawyers disclosed the plan during a brief conference with a judge, spokesman David Ashenfelter said. The terms of Schmidt's plea agreement are not clear at the moment. Schmidt's attorney did not immediately return requests for comment.
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US prosecutors have gathered more than 4.3 million documents covering more than 40 million pages in the ongoing probe. A Volkswagen spokeswoman said the auto maker continues to cooperate with U.S. Justice Department probes of individuals and declined to comment further.
As the dust from Volkswagen AG's Dieselgate emissions scandal settles, many have been left behind to face criminal action and long-stay jail sentences. It is unclear to which charges he will plead guilty. Others charged are believed to reside in Germany and aren't likely to be extradited to the U.S.to face charges. A spokeswoman for the US attorney's office in Detroit, which is pursuing the case alongside Justice Department prosecutors in Washington, declined to comment on the agreement's terms.
Among those indicted earlier were Heinz-Jakob Neusser, former head of development for VW Brand and two former heads of engine development, Jens Hadler and Richard Dorenkamp.
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