Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Sentence next for Volkswagen in US diesel emissions scandal

Sentence next for Volkswagen in US diesel emissions scandal

A federal prosecutor on Friday confirmed that the government plans to name former deputy US attorney general Larry Thompson to serve as independent monitor of Volkswagen AG under a plea agreement over its diesel emissions scandal.

VW itself pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice for their role six weeks ago, while the several employees who have been charged await their own trials.

"It was an intentional effort on the part of a major corporation to evade U.S. law and lie to U.S. regulators", Assistant U.S. Attorney John Neal told the judge. "The individuals who will be hurt the most are the working men and women at VW", who likely will not get bonuses or raises because of the financial burden caused by actions of higher ranking company officials". "As always it's the little guy", the judge said, referring to auto buyers and VW's blue-collar workers who might earn less in the future.

The deal was the result of negotiations between VW and the Justice Department which took into account the significant criminal charges and sentences faced by seven employees.

Cox urged the German government to "prosecute those responsible for this deliberate massive fraud that has damaged an iconic automobile company". In March, attorneys for both the government and Volkswagen asked Cox to accept the plea and immediately sentence the company to $2.8 billion in criminal fines.

Neal then said Volkswagen did not disclose its illegal behavior and obstructed the government investigation by destroying documents and data after learning of the probe. "We let people down and for that we are deeply sorry", Doess said.

USA regulators confronted VW about the software after West Virginia University researchers discovered differences in testing and real-world emissions.

The carmaker has admitted to programming its diesel cars to trick emissions testers into believing the engines released far less pollution into the air than they actually do, in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

Volkswagen shares were down 0.33% in morning trading on Friday and has fallen about 8.5% this week.

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