Whether you agree with adding the word “gate” to the end of every fraud or deception we see in the public, it has taken place. Ever since the Watergate Scandal, in which that was the name of the hotel, we’ve had things such as Spygate and Deflategate in the NFL and now we have Dieselgate in the automotive industry. This particular scandal has to do with the fact that one company tried to, with a serious degree of success for several years, to defraud the US with vehicles that produced much higher levels of emissions when on the road.
While we don’t need to go into the details, you probably know them and have heard about them, now that we’re a little over two years beyond when these discoveries were made, it feels like things are coming to a close and settling down. There are several arrest warrants out for those that participated in the scandal, and only a few arrests have taken place because Germany will not extradite their own citizens to be punished by another government. Even so, at least one German citizen has been arrested and finally sentenced in response to this scandal.
Oliver Schmidt sentenced
The trouble with the vehicles that were built and sold by Volkswagen was the intentional inclusion of a defeat device that could determine when the vehicle was attached to a machine for testing in order to turn on the emissions control systems of the vehicle. This meant these diesel-powered vehicles could produce as much as forty times the allowable level of emissions when on the road. Oliver Schmidt was identified as one of the leaders of this initiative and for his part in the scandal he has spent time in jail and it appears he’s about to stay even longer.
After being arrested during a layover in Florida after his vacation with his family, Schmidt has already been behind bars for eleven months and will spend a total of seven years in prison. He will also be required to pay a fine of $400,000 as part of this sentencing. He will receive credit for the times he’s served and be able to remain in the jail located in Milan, Michigan before he’s released sometime in the next six years. You can imagine this wasn’t the ending to his family vacation that he expected to have when it was time to head home.
What has Oliver Schmidt been charged with? He was charged with and plead guilty to two felony charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating the Clean Air Act. A third charge of aiding and abetting wire fraud was also included in this plea agreement. It was reported that Schmidt wasn’t cooperative with the US investigators during their look into the matter, which certainly didn’t make anything easier for him. The result is that Schmidt now has an extended vacation from Germany in which he will spend time behind bars in Michigan.