US prosecutors seek 7-year prison sentence for VW manager

Friday, December 01, 2017, Vol. 41, No. 48

DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison sentence for a Volkswagen senior manager who pleaded guilty in the automaker's U.S. diesel emissions scandal.

Oliver Schmidt will be sentenced Wednesday in Detroit federal court. In a court filing this week, federal prosecutors said the 48-year-old followed a "script of deception" while VW was using software to cheat emissions rules on nearly 600,000 vehicles.

Schmidt led VW's engineering and environmental office in Michigan from 2012 to early 2015. Defense lawyers are recommending that his sentence not exceed 40 months in prison. He'll get credit for the nearly one year he's spent in custody.

Schmidt's lawyers say he "accepts full responsibility" for his role in the scandal. But they say he's less culpable than others. VW pleaded guilty as a corporation in March.