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Volkswagen (VW) pleads guilty in U.S., will pay $2.8 billion

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Staff Writer | March 11, 2017
Volkswagen pleaded guilty in federal court in Detroit to three felony counts charging.
Dieselgate   A decade-long scheme
They are: (1) conspiracy to defraud the United States, engage in wire fraud, and violate the Clean Air Act; (2) obstruction of justice; and (3) importation of merchandise by means of false statements.

As part of the plea, VW agreed to pay a $2.8 billion penalty as a result of the company’s decade-long scheme to sell diesel vehicles containing software designed to cheat on U.S. emissions tests.

In January 2017, VW had agreed to plead guilty to resolve these criminal charges.

VW pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Sean F. Cox of the Eastern District of Michigan.

Specifically, VW pleaded guilty, first, to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States and VW’s U.S. customers and to violate the Clean Air Act by lying and misleading the EPA and U.S. customers about whether certain VW, Audi and Porsche branded diesel vehicles complied with U.S. emissions standards, using cheating software to circumvent the U.S. testing process and concealing material facts about its cheating from U.S. regulators.

Second, VW pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for destroying documents related to the scheme.

And third, VW pleaded guilty to importing these cars into the United States by means of false statements about the vehicles’ compliance with emissions limits. After accepting VW’s plea, Judge Cox scheduled the company’s sentencing for April 21, 2017.