The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Volkswagen AG executive on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, the New York Times reported on Monday.
Oliver Schmidt, who headed the company’s regulatory compliance office in the U.S. from 2014 to March 2015, was arrested on Saturday by federal investigators in Florida, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.
VW admitted in September 2015 to installing secret software known as “defeat devices” in 475,000 U.S. 2.0-liter diesel cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests and make them appear cleaner in testing. In reality, the vehicles emitted up to 40 times the legally allowable pollution levels.
Volkswagen declined to comment on the reported arrest.
Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) executive Oliver Schmidt will appear in Federal Court in Miami, Florida, on Monday, a spokeswoman for the United States Attorney’s office in Detroit said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Schmidt on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States in connection with the automaker’s emissions cheating scandal, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters on Monday.
Schmidt headed the company’s regulatory compliance office in the U.S. from 2014 to March 2015, and was arrested on Saturday in Florida.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Joe White and Georgina Prodhan)