Oliver Schmidt, the Volkswagen executive was imprisoned this January while he was on his vacation in Florida. He have tried to go back to Germany but U.S. authorities incarcerated him, and last week federal court decided that he will stay in prison until his trials began at the beginning of the next year. He is charged for 11 felonies.
Schmidt filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Detroit with the request to be released on bond pending his trial. When he was arrested, Schmidt was held and detained as an extreme flight risk. This decision was affirmed by judge. “I do appreciate the situation Mr. Schmidt finds himself in. But this is a very, very serious case. The allegations of fraud and conspiracy in this case are very, very serious,” Judge Cox said after the 70-minute hearing. “The court believes that there’s no condition or combination of conditions,” that would ensure Schmidt would appear for trial.
Schmidt’s trial previously scheduled for April 18 postponed until January 2018
In seeking release on bond for their client, Schmidt’s attorneys proposed a combination of more than $1.6 million in potentially forfeitable assets — including those belonging to the VW executive’s family in Germany and friends in the U.S. — to ensure he appeared for trial. They proposed placing the German citizen in a home in the Detroit suburb of Rochester, with electronic monitoring, as well as the surrender of his German passport.
Last month, as he was arraigned, Schmidt attorney David DuMouchel asked that his client be transferred to a federal prison in nearby Milan, Mich., where he could have access to a computer. However, he has remained detained in a nearby county jail.
Schmidt was previously responsible for overseeing U.S. emissions compliance for VW and was the lead executive from 2012 to 2015 of VW Group of America’s Engineering and Environmental Office in Auburn Hills, Mich. In the position, Schmidt sought EPA certification to keep VW’s diesel engines on sale in the U.S.