Michigan, United States (Sputnik) – Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt was arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and will face charges of conspiracy and fraud amid the ongoing emissions-cheating scandal surrounding the German car maker, media reported Monday.
The New York Times said Schmidt led Volkswagen’s regulatory compliance office in the United States from 2014 to March 2015. According to the newspaper, the executive is to be arraigned Monday in Detroit by the US Justice Department after the arrest was made on Saturday.
The paper added that Schmidt’s arrest brings the criminal investigation into the “executive ranks”.
Schmidt’s representation, the Justice Department, and the FBI have not issued statements in regard to the arrest or the arraignment so far.
In September 2015, Volkswagen found itself in the middle of a public scandal when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused the automaker of using software to falsify emission test results for its diesel-engine cars. In that same month, Volkswagen engineer James Liang pleaded guilty to charges of fraud by concealing emission test rigging software from US regulators.
Volkswagen admitted that 11 million of its vehicles worldwide had been fitted with emissions cheating software. The scandal worsened economic positions of the car manufacturer.
The German automaker has agreed to pay settlements totaling to $15 billion as a result of the emissions scandal.