Volkswagen recently agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle the civil and criminal charges it still faced, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the scandal is over. Six executives have personally been indicted, and one has been arrested. If he’s convicted on all counts, it could mean a possible life sentence.
Automotive News reports that Oliver Schmidt, the VW exec who headed up the American regulatory compliance office for the German automaker, is charged with eleven felonies. In the event that he receives the maximum sentence for each charge, that would mean a total of 169 years in prison.
Schmidt is currently being held without bail after U.S. Magistrate Judge William Turnoff decided he is a flight risk. The other five executives who have been indicted are still in Germany, but they’re unlikely to be extradited to the U.S. as long as they stay in the country.
We suspect Schmidt will work out a plea deal that results in a significantly shorter sentence, but he’s still looking at some serious jail time. Then again, if your company destroys documents to hide evidence during a federal investigation, don’t be surprised when the government gets a little upset.