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    As the Diesel Emits/Rumorpile: Volkswagen Could Be Facing Criminal Charges


    • Department of Justice readies criminal charges against Volkswagen

    Volkswagen is facing criminal charges over the diesel emission scandal in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reports that investigators from the U.S. Justice Department have found evidence of criminal wrongdoing. It is unclear what the evidence is. According to sources, federal prosecutors are still trying to figure out what charges should be brought against Volkswagen.

     

    Sources go on to say that prosecutors and lawyers from Volkswagen have held preliminary discussions about the case. The two parties are trying to reach a settlement before the end of the year. A matter up for debate is whether the Justice Department will seek a guilty plea or a deferred prosecution agreement; a deal with the U.S. Government would aim to dismiss the charges at a later date if the automaker complies to terms of a settlement. Both Toyota and General Motors have gone down this route recently, dealing with safety issues.

     

    Investigators have been reviewing over 1.5 million documents as part of the criminal probe. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said back in June the probe involved “multiple individuals.” It is unknown if prosecutors are planning to charge Volkswagen employees over the diesel emission scandal. If so, they would need to be extradited from Germany to have their day in court.

     

    Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

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    So the question I have always had is when a company ends up in court due to criminal charges, who in the company really ends up having to pay with time in jail. This is usually just a money grab by the government right?

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    • By William Maley
      In 2005, Volkswagen was in dire straights. The company was going through a painful restructure and was looking into various ways to get itself back into shape. One of those ways was a possible deal with Daimler on possibly using their diesel technologies. But Volkswagen canceled the talks later that year and worked on their own diesel engines, which led to the cheating software and the mess it finds itself today.
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