Former VW Executive to Plead Guilty in Emissions-Cheating Case

By Mike Spector Features Dow Jones Newswires

A former Volkswagen AG compliance executive agreed to plead guilty in the U.S. to criminal charges stemming from his alleged role in the German auto maker's yearslong emissions-cheating deception, a court spokesman said.

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Oliver Schmidt, a German citizen who for several years headed Volkswagen's environment and engineering office in Auburn Hills, Mich., faces charges that he conspired to defraud U.S. officials and customers with diesel-powered vehicles featuring illegal software that duped government emissions tests.

Prosecutors and lawyers in the criminal case told a federal judge Tuesday morning that Mr. Schmidt has agreed to plead guilty, a spokesman for the U.S. district court in Detroit said. Mr. Schmidt is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 4, the spokesman said. Mr. Schmidt had been awaiting trial while behind bars in Michigan.

A lawyer for Mr. Schmidt declined to comment. A Volkswagen spokeswoman said the auto maker continues to cooperate with U.S. Justice Department probes of individuals and declined to comment further.

Write to Mike Spector at mike.spector@wsj.com

A former Volkswagen AG compliance executive agreed to plead guilty in the U.S. to criminal charges stemming from his alleged role in the German auto maker's yearslong emissions-cheating deception, a court spokesman said.

Continue Reading Below

Oliver Schmidt, a German citizen who for several years headed Volkswagen's environment and engineering office in Auburn Hills, Mich., faces charges that he conspired to defraud U.S. officials and customers with diesel-powered vehicles featuring illegal software that duped government emissions tests.

Prosecutors and lawyers in the criminal case told a federal judge Tuesday morning that Mr. Schmidt has agreed to plead guilty, a spokesman for the U.S. district court in Detroit said. Mr. Schmidt is scheduled to appear at a plea hearing Aug. 4, the spokesman said. Mr. Schmidt had been awaiting trial while behind bars in Michigan.

A lawyer for Mr. Schmidt declined to comment. A Volkswagen spokeswoman said the auto maker continues to cooperate with U.S. Justice Department probes of individuals and declined to comment further.

Write to Mike Spector at mike.spector@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications

This article was corrected on July 26, 2017 at 3:44 p.m. ET to show that Oliver Schmidt is scheduled to appear at a plea hearing Aug. 4. The original version incorrectly said he was being sentenced on that date.

Oliver Schmidt is scheduled to appear at a plea hearing Aug. 4. "Former VW Executive to Plead Guilty in Emissions-Cheating Case," published July 25, 2017, at 12:25 p.m. EDT, and a subsequent update incorrectly stated he would be sentenced on Aug. 4 in the third paragraph. (July 26, 2017)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2017 15:36 ET (19:36 GMT)