United States v. FCA
PENDING CRIMINAL DIVISION CASES
United States v. Emanuele Palma, et al.
United States v. FCA US LLC
Court Docket: 19-CR-20626 (EDMI)
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Matter
Court Assigned: This case is assigned to the U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds, Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Room 805, Detroit, MI 48226.
On November 14, 2023, defendant Emanuele Palma was sentenced to 1 day of imprisonment with credit for time served.
On July 19, 2023, defendant Emanuele Palma entered a guilty plea pursuant to a plea agreement that was accepted by the Court.
Victim Impact Statement: If you would like to submit a Victim Impact Statement you may do so by mailing the Victim Impact Statement below to: Victim Witness Unit, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, Room 4416, Washington, DC 20530. You also may submit the Victim Impact Statement via email at VictimAssistance.firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at: (202) 514-3708.
The information on this website will be updated as new developments arise in the case. If you have any questions, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at VictimAssistance.email@example.com.
Criminal Charges: On April 20, 2021 a Superseding Indictment was unsealed in the Eastern District of Michigan charging three Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) diesel managers—Emanuele Palma, Sergio Pasini, and Gianluca Sabbioni—for their alleged role in a conspiracy to defraud U.S. regulators and customers by making false and misleading statements about the emissions controls and fuel efficiency of more than 100,000 diesel vehicles sold in the United States by FCA US LLC (FCA US), formerly Chrysler Group LLC. Palma, Pasini, and Sabbioni are each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Clean Air Act, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and six counts of violating the Clean Air Act. Palma is also charged with two counts of making false statements to representatives of the FBI and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID).
The superseding indictment alleges that Palma, Pasini, Sabbioni, and their co-conspirators, purposely calibrated the emissions control functions to produce lower NOx emissions under conditions when the subject vehicles would be undergoing testing on the federal test procedures or driving “cycles,” and higher NOx emissions under conditions when the subject vehicles would be driven in the real world. Palma, Pasini, and Sabbioni also allegedly made and caused others to make false and misleading representations to FCA’s regulators about the emissions control functions of the subject vehicles in order to ensure that FCA obtained regulatory approval to sell the subject vehicles in the United States.
The superseding indictment also alleges that Palma, Pasini, and Sabbioni employed “cycle beating” to achieve best-in-class fuel efficiency and make the subject vehicles more attractive to FCA’s potential customers, i.e., by increasing fuel economy and reducing the frequency of a required emissions control system service interval. The superseding indictment alleges that the co-conspirators understood their “cycle beating” calibration would harm consumers who purchased the vehicle.
Please note that an indictment is only an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Additional Updates: On June 3, 2022, FCA US entered a guilty plea to a criminal information charging the company with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, commit wire fraud, and violate the Clean Air Act, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. Pursuant to the plea agreement, FCA US agreed to pay a criminal fine of $96,145,784 and to forfeit $203,572,892.
The charges in the criminal information stem from the company’s scheme to defraud U.S. regulators and customers by making false and misleading representations about the design, calibration, and function of the emissions control systems on more than 100,000 Model Year 2014, 2015, and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles, and about these vehicles’ emission of pollutants, fuel efficiency, and compliance with U.S. emissions standards.
On August 1, 2022, the court accepted the plea agreement between the United States and FCA US, and FCA US was sentenced to pay a fine of $96,145,784, and a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $203,572,892. The court also imposed a three-year term of organizational probation.
Crime Victims’ Rights Act and Right to Retain Counsel: The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (18 U.S.C. § 3771) applies only to victims of the counts charged in federal court, and thus individuals may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime of which the individual is a victim was not charged. Section 3771(c)(2) of this Act requires that we advise you that you have the right to retain counsel. Although the statute specifically sets forth your right to seek advice of an attorney with regard to your rights under the statute, there is no requirement that you retain counsel. The Government may not recommend any specific counsel, nor can the Government (or the Court) pay for counsel to represent you. Government attorneys represent the United States.
If you elect to obtain counsel to represent your interests, please have your attorney notify this office in writing at: U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20530, Attention: Victim Witness Unit; fax: (202) 514-3708; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you elect not to retain counsel to represent your interests, you do not need to do anything.
If you want to inform the prosecutor of your views regarding the case, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at email@example.com