Senior ex-VW executive gets 7 years in prison for 'dieselgate'

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In August, Oliver Schmidt pled guilty to federal charges of conspiring to defraud the USA and violating the Clean Air Act in connection with Volkswagen's "clean diesel" emissions cheating scandal.

A former Volkswagen executive has been sentenced to seven years in jail and given a $400,000 (£300,000) fine after pleading guilty to helping the German carmaker cheat on diesel emissions tests.

Alongside the sentence Schmidt was fined $400,000.

Oliver Schmidt, who is the second person to be sent to prison over the scandal, was dispatched to the US from Germany in 2015 to meet with suspicious California regulators.

He had pleaded guilty in August to charges he conspired to commit fraud and violate the US Clean Air Act. Only one other VW employee has been sentenced in connection with the emissions scandal: former engineer James Liang, who received 40 months in prison and two years of supervised release as the result of his plea deal.

Schmidt will be deported after he serves his sentence.

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He is one of eight people charged by USA authorities in the emissions scandal, which involved installing software in some 500,000 VW 2.0 liter diesel vehicles sold in the US from 2009 through 2015 to make USA authorities believe that the vehicles met USA emissions standards.

The scandal has so far reportedly cost the auto giant as much as $30 billion in fines, settlements and remediation.

Schmidt's lawyer. David DuMouchel of Detroit, asked for a maximum of 40 months in prison and $100,000 fine. But his lawyers point out that he wasn't involved when the scheme was hatched years earlier by the company.

Schmidt traveled to the USA as the scandal was breaking on a mission to lie to U.S. and Californian authorities so Volkswagen could obtain regulatory approvals to sell 2016 model year diesel vehicles in the United States, according to prosecutors.

VW pleaded guilty as a corporation in March and agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines.

But the company continues to face legal challenges in Germany and elsewhere.

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