A judge on Friday ordered Volkswagen to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty in the United States for cheating on diesel emissions tests, blessing a deal negotiated by the government for a “massive fraud” orchestrated by the German automaker.
U.S. District Judge Sean Cox stuck to the plea deal during the sentencing hearing, six weeks after VW pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a bold scheme involving nearly 600,000 diesel cars in the U.S. They were programmed to turn on pollution controls during testing and off while on the road.
“It was an intentional effort on the part of a major corporation to evade U.S. law and lie to U.S. regulators,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Neal told the judge. Speaking from the bench in the heart of the global auto industry, Cox said he was amazed that VW would commit such a crime.
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