A Detroit Jail Will Remain Home Sweet Home for Nabbed VW Exec

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
a detroit jail will remain home sweet home for nabbed vw exec

Suspecting that a Volkswagen executive might fly the coop if released on bond while awaiting trial, a U.S. District Court judge slammed the cell door shut until early next year.

Oliver Schmidt, who was arrested early this year during a stopover in Miami, is currently cooling his heels in a Detroit jail after being slapped with conspiracy and fraud charges relating to the diesel emissions scandal. With a potential jail sentence of 169 years looming over his head, even $1.6 million ponied up by family and friends wasn’t enough to secure his release.

Were Schmidt to find his way back home to Germany, a potential sentence handed down by a German court wouldn’t top 10 years. As such, Judge Sean Cox deemed the German national a high flight risk.

“I do appreciate the situation Mr. Schmidt finds himself in. But this is a very, very serious case. The allegations of fraud and conspiracy in this case are very, very serious,” Cox said after yesterday’s bond hearing. He added that the court felt there was “no condition or combination of conditions” that would guarantee Schmidt showed up for trial.

Schmidt served as Volkswagen’s top emissions compliance executive in Auburn Hills, Michigan, from 2012 until just before the scandal went public. He returned home to Germany in early 2015. That’s where he’d be now had it not been for a risky winter vacation to Cuba.

Five other former or current VW executives were indicted for their alleged involvement in a decade-long conspiracy to defraud U.S. diesel buyers and fool the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as other regulators. Unlike Schmidt, however, those players remain in safely in Germany, outside of the reach of U.S. authorities.

Thursday brought more than just one piece of bad news for Schmidt. Not only does he have to stay in the slammer until his trial, but that trial won’t happen anytime soon. Originally scheduled for next month, the trial has now been postponed to January of next year.

[Source: Automotive News]

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23 of 36 comments
  • TW5 TW5 on Mar 16, 2017

    The scandal was disgusting, but the inconspicuous execution of justice is perhaps worse. These VW executives are guilty of gaming a government system that is used as the lynch pin of an unnecessarily poor fuel economy regime. Furthermore, the "victims" in this crime are established by way of a fraudulent branch of science known as anthropogenic global warming.

    • See 10 previous
    • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Mar 20, 2017

      @jpolicke Why would anybody that is severely bothered by air pollution be living in a congested urban area, regardless of the presence of modern VW diesels? I'm not buying that the small increase in NOx and smog that these vehicles created is responsible for a significant reduction in the lifespan of anyone. They were not big sellers and they are far from being among the most heavily-polluting combustion engines in any city.

  • Johnnyz Johnnyz on Mar 16, 2017

    It is the brass at the EPA that belong in jail. By imposing unrealistic and unattainable standards, our criminal government has created a so-called criminal corporate class. Much like the DEA, the EPA does the opposite of what the public wants. We pay the fare and are punished with arbitrary rules and regulations. Someday those useless and worthless government officials will get what they deserve!

    • See 9 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Mar 17, 2017

      @johnnyz Whodda thought it'd be harder to get "oil burners" to run clean?? The EPA had been lax on diesel "emissions" for decades, so it's just time for them to pay up. -.

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