Volkswagen Diesel Engine Vehicle Matters
Case No. 2:16-cr-20394-SFC-APP (E.D. Mich.)
07/26/2017 – The sentencing hearing for defendant James Liang has been rescheduled to August 25, 2017, at 10:00 AM.
The hearing will be before District Court Judge Sean Cox at 231 West Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226 in Courtroom 861.
07/25/2017 - A hearing before Judge Sean F. Cox is scheduled for defendant Oliver Schmidt on Friday, August 4, 2017 at 9:30AM in Courtroom 861. The purpose of this hearing is for the defendant to enter a plea of guilty.
Should this defendant not plead guilty on this date, a tentative trial date will be scheduled and we will update this website with the scheduled date and time.
03/22/2017: Victim Impact Statement - Individuals who would like to submit a Victim Impact Statement may do so by completing and mailing the attached Victim Impact Statement form so that it is received no later than April 12, 2017 to: Richard J. Rogala, United States Probation Department, Theodore Levin United States Courthouse, 231 West Lafayette, Detroit, Michigan 48226.
To access a copy of the Victim Impact Statement (PDF form), please click here
To access a copy of the Victim Impact Statement (Fillable PDF form), please click here
If you elect to obtain counsel to represent your interests in accordance with the Justice for All Act of 2004, please have your attorney notify, in writing, the following office: U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, Room 4416, Washington, DC 20530, Attention: Pamela Washington; (202) 514-7021 (fax). If you elect not to retain counsel to represent your interests you do not need to do anything.
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 email@example.com
03/16/2017: A trial is scheduled for Oliver Schmidt on January 16, 2018, at 8:30 AM before District Court Judge Cox at the above listed location.
- 10, 2017: VW pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States, to commit wire fraud, and to violate the Clean Air Act; obstruction of justice; and entry of goods by false statements. A sentencing date is currently scheduled for April 21, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. before the Honorable Sean Cox, Courtroom 861, Theodore Levin United States District Courthouse, 231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226
To access a copy of the Plea Agreement, please click here.
A sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for James Liang on May 3, 2017, at 2:00 PM. The hearing will be before District Court Judge Sean Cox at the above listed location
Because of the court’s schedule, hearing dates could change on very short notice. If you plan on attending, please contact the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
United States v. Volkswagen: On January 11, 2017, Volkswagen AG (“VW”) was charged by criminal information with conspiracy to defraud the United States, to commit wire fraud, and to violate the Clean Air Act; obstruction of justice; and entry of goods by false statements. The charges arise from the company’s long-running scheme to sell approximately 590,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. by using a defeat device to cheat on emissions tests mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, and lying and obstructing justice to further the scheme. In particular, from approximately May 2006 to approximately November 2015, VW allegedly agreed to deceive U.S. regulators and U.S. customers about whether certain vehicles complied with U.S. emissions standards. The vehicles at issue include:
2.0 Liter Diesel Engine Vehicles:
Mode Year (“MY”) 2009-2015 VW Jetta;
MY 2009-2014 VW Jetta Sportwagen;
MY 2010-2015 VW Golf;
MY 2015 Golf Sportwagen;
MY 2010-2013, 2015 Audi A3;
MY 2013-2015 VW Beetle and VW Beetle Convertible; and
MY 2012-2015 VW Passat
3.0 Liter Diesel Engine Vehicles:
MY 2009-2016 VW Touareg;
MY 2009-2015 Audi Q7;
MY 2014-2016 Audi A6 Quattro;
MY 2014-2016 Audi A7 Quattro
MY 2014-2016 Audi A8L; and
MY 2014-2016 Audi Q5
MY 2013-2016 Porsche Cayenne Diesel Vehicles
VW has agreed to plead guilty to these charges and pay a $2.8 billion penalty. Under the terms of the plea agreement, which must be reviewed and accepted by the court, VW agrees to fully cooperate in the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation and prosecution of individuals responsible for these crimes, be on probation for three years, and be under an independent corporate compliance monitor who will oversee the company for at least three years. The government is not seeking restitution in this case since “the number of identifiable victims is so large as to make restitution impracticable” and/or “determining complex issues of fact related to the cause or amount of victims’ losses would complicate or prolong the sentencing process to a degree that the need to provide restitution to any victim is outweighed by the burden on the sentencing process.” See Mandatory Victims’ Rights Act (18 U.S.C. § 3663A(c)(3)). However, VW has entered into settlements in the civil litigation captioned In re Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 3:15-md-2672 (N.D. Cal.), which will result in compensation to victims of the underlying criminal conduct that is the subject of the plea agreement.
No court date for the guilty plea has been set.
For information about VW’s civil settlements, please visit the Environment and Natural Resource Division’s website: Second Partial Consent Decree (https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decree/us-et-al-v-volkswagen-group-america-et-al) and Third Partial Consent Decree (https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decree/us-et-al-v-volkswagen-group-america-et-al-0).
United States v. Richard Dorenkamp et al.: Six VW executives were also indicted on January 11, 2017, in connection with the emissions fraud scheme. Richard Dorenkamp, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Jens Hadler, Bernd Gottweis, Oliver Schmidt, and Jürgen Peter have been charged in a second superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, to commit wire fraud, and to violate the Clean Air Act by making false representations to regulators and the public about the ability of VW’s supposedly “clean diesel” vehicles to comply with U.S. emissions requirements. The indictment also charges Dorenkamp, Neusser, Schmidt, and Peter with Clean Air Act violations, and charges Neusser, Gottweis, Schmidt, and Peter with substantive wire fraud counts. Schmidt was arrested by complaint on January 7, 2017; the other defendants reside in Germany.
For more information about the VW and Dorenkamp et al. charges, please see below:
VW Criminal Third Superseding Information click HERE
VW Plea Agreement click HERE
Dorenkamp et al. Second Superseding Indictment click HERE
United States v. James Liang: On September 9, 2016, James Robert Liang, a VW engineer, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, to commit wire fraud, and to violate the Clean Air Act for his role in the emissions fraud. He was indicted under seal on June 1, 2016.
Liang is currently scheduled to be sentenced on May 3, 2017.
Liang Indictment click HERE
Liang Plea Agreement click HERE
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 email@example.com.
Crime Victim Rights: Under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, Title 18, United States Code, Section 3771, a crime victim has the following rights: (1) the right to be reasonably protected from the accused; (2) the right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused; (3) the right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding; (4) the right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding; (5) the reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case; (6) the right to full and timely restitution as provided in law; (7) the right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay; and (8) the right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy; (9) the right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement; and (10) the right to be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims' Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 10607(c)) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice.
Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice Contact Information:
Marie A. O’Rourke
Victims’ Rights Ombudsman
Email: usaeo.VictimOmbudsman@usdoj.gov (Victims’ Rights Ombudsman)
Executive Office for United States Attorneys
Department of Justice
RFK Main Justice Building
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Room 2261
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Section 377I(c)(2) 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.