I am very happy to report that the FBI has arrested a VW executive. The NY Times reports that the FBI accuses “him of playing a central role in a broad conspiracy to keep United States regulators from discovering that diesel vehicles made by the company were programmed to cheat on emissions tests.” This form of Dealer Fraud and Manufacturer Fraud is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
The executive, Oliver Schmidt, a German who is the former top emissions compliance manager for Volkswagen in the United States, was arrested on Saturday by investigators in Florida on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He is expected to be arraigned on Monday.
The arrest of Mr. Schmidt is an escalation of the criminal investigation into emissions cheating by Volkswagen and comes amid talks between the company and the United States Justice Department about what penalties the carmaker should accept as part of a settlement.
After a study by West Virginia University first raised questions over Volkswagen’s diesel motors in early 2014, Mr. Schmidt played a central role in trying to convince regulators that excess emissions were caused by technical problems rather than by deliberate cheating, Ian Dinsmore, an F.B.I. agent, said in a sworn affidavit used as the basis for Mr. Schmidt’s arrest.
Mr. Schmidt deceived American regulators “by offering reasons for the discrepancy other than the fact that VW was intentionally cheating on U.S. emissions tests, in order to allow VW to continue to sell diesel vehicles in the United States,” the affidavit said.
As I mentioned above, in my opinion, this conspiracy is just the tip of the iceberg. The Manufacturer Certified Pre-Owned Programs are scams and conspiracies, just to name one example.
We can only hope that the new administration will follow through on its promise to protect consumers. The administration must start by protecting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Fair Trade Commission, which are under assault.
You can see the full report by pointing your browser here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/business/volkswagen-diesel-emissions-investigation-settlement.html?_r=1
If you think you or someone close to you may have been the victim of consumer fraud, then you should contact a qualified attorney right away.