The Wall Street Journal reports today that Oliver Schmidt, an emissions executive with Volkswagen AG, was arrested Saturday at Miami International Airport by the FBI and charged with being part of VE's diesel emissions cheating scandal. He is being held without bail until a Thursday court appearance.
Schmidt at one time was in charge of Volkswagen's compliance with U.S. emissions compliance by installing illegal software on millions of its vehicles to cheat emissions test.
Charges against Schmidt include conspiring to defraud the U.S. government. According to the Journal, the case against Schmidt focuses on his tenure as head of Volkswagen’s Environment and Engineering Office in Auburn Hills, Michigan. In April 2014, Schmidet learned of a rep[ort from the International Council for Clean Transportation and West Virginia University that showed two Volkswagen diesel vehicles produced higher levels of toxic nitrogen oxide during normal road use than on treadmill tests in the laboratory.
The FBI says Schmidt knew about the carmaker's use of illegal software , citing an email he wrote regarding how VW should respond to the ICCT study. “It should first be decided whether we are honest. If we are not honest, everything stays as it is,” he wrote in an email to fellow Volkswagen managers, according to the federal complaint against him.
The arrest comes just as VW is near resolving the criminal investigation with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Read the Journal's article FBI Arrests Volkswagen Executive in Emissions Scandal detailing Schmidt's and James Robert Liang's involvement in the billion dollar cover-up here and more about the criminal case against Volkswagen AG in Volkswagen Near Settling U.S. Criminal Case Over Emissions Cheating here.