According to the New York Times, Volkswagen AG executive Oliver Schmidt pleaded guilty on Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit in ties to a diesel emissions scandal that resulted in a loss of $25 billion for the automaker company.
Under a plea deal, Schmidt faces up to seven years in prison and a fine between $40,000 to $400,000 after he had admitted to conspiring to mislead U.S. regulators and violating clean air laws. He will be sentenced on December 6th this year, as well an agreement to be deported back after his sentence.
Earlier in the year Schmidt was charged with 11 felony counts and federal prosecutors said he could face up 169 years in prison. As part of a plea deal, most of the federal charges were dropped.
In March, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to three felony charges to resolves charges the company had installed secret software in vehicles to dodge emissions tests.
Schmidt had conspired with other executives to avoid disclosing intentionally these software systems on the emissions tests to see approval for its 2016 VW 2 litre diesel vehicles.
Schmidt was the former chief of Volkswagen’s environmental and engineering center located in Michigan. He was denied bail and has been held since January after he was caught and arrested trying to flee back to Germany.
Volkswagen said on Friday that it "continues to cooperate with investigations by the Department of Justice into the conduct of individuals. It would not be appropriate to comment on any ongoing investigations or to discuss personnel matters."
As part of the plea deal, Volkswagen has agreed to spend upwards of up to $25 billion to resolve claims from owners and regulators over polluting diesel vehicles and offered to purchase back approximately 500,000 vehicles.