James Liang enters plea in Detroit federal court to conspiracy, agrees to cooperate in further investigations
PHOTO: VIRGINIA LOZANO/DETROIT NEWS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
A Volkswagen engineer pleaded guilty to helping the auto maker’s admitted efforts to cheat on emissions tests, becoming the first person criminally convicted in the U.S. in a wide-ranging scandal that has cost the German giant billions of dollars.
The engineer, James Liang, who has been with the company since 1983, agreed to cooperate in the continuing U.S. investigation, according to his plea agreement filed in federal court in Detroit. That cooperation suggests prosecutors are preparing cases against others at the company.
Mr. Liang was charged with conspiring to defraud the U.S., commit wire fraud and violate the Clean Air Act. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January, and faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He also has been mentioned in a civil suit as being a developer of devices that helped certain models appear to burn cleaner in emissions tests than they did on the road.