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Volkswagen agrees to pay $4.3B in penalties in emissions scandal; six executives are indicted

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Criminal Justice


Volkswagen

The Volkswagen emissions scandal has produced six indictments of German corporate executives and a guilty plea by the company itself, which will pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties.

Volkswagen will plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States and the automaker’s U.S. customers by using software to cheat on emissions tests, according to a press release. The automaker will also plead guilty to obstruction of justice for destruction of documents, and to making false statements to import cars into the United States.

The company previously agreed to pay $15.3 billion in a civil settlement in which the company agreed to buy back or repair affected cars.

Among the six indicted executives is former emissions compliance manager Oliver Schmidt, who was arrested in Florida on Saturday during a visit to the United States, report the New York Times and the Washington Post. All six are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States; Schmidt and three others are also charged with Clean Air Act violations and wire fraud.

None of the executives are members of Volkswagen’s management board, though many reported to the board, according to the Times.

The Times calls the indictments “a substantial turn by a departing administration that is trying to remake its image that it is soft on corporate crime.”


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