By Lynn Palec, | January 11, 2017
Schmidt will be facing fraud charges and violations of the Clean Air Act. (YouTube)
Agents from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation have apprehended a prime suspect connected to the massive Volkswagen emissions test scandal. On Jan. 7, FBI agents successfully arrested Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt as he was preparing to depart the Miami International Airport with Germany as his final destination.
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Schmidt has reportedly worked with Volkswagen as one of the company's top executives on environmental compliance. With his arrest, Schmidt will be facing fraud charges and violations of the Clean Air Act.
Schmidt appeared in a Miami federal court on Monday, and he will be transferred to Detroit where he was originally charged and where court documents linking him to current government investigations are kept. Based on affidavits from an FBI agent, Schmidt played a vital role in the Volkswagen's effort to cover-up the diesel emission scandal.
Previously, Volkswagen stood by its claim that the company's top executives did not understand the full scale of the emission fraud until early in September 2015. Some analysts are positive that the arrest of Schmidt along with subsequent investigations will shed more light on the actual role that Volkswagen executives played in the cover-up of the emission test scandal.
Court documents acquired by Reuters stated that "In the presentation, VW employees assured VW executive management that U.S. regulators were not aware of the defeat device. Rather than advocate for disclosure of the defeat device to U.S. regulators, VW executive management authorized its continued concealment."
On the other hand, Volkswagen has been working on the final details of a deal with the Justice Department which requires the company to pay $2 billion following a criminal investigation into the emissions test scandal. According to The New York Times, a person with insider knowledge of the ongoing negotiation said that Volkswagen or one of its corporate entities is expected to plead guilty as part of the deal.
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