On September 9, 2016, James Robert Liang, a Volkswagen engineer, pleaded guilty for his role in a nearly 10-year conspiracy to defraud U.S. regulators and U.S. Volkswagen customers by implementing software specifically designed to cheat U.S. emissions tests in hundreds of thousands of Volkswagen “clean diesel” vehicles, the Justice Department announced today. Specifically, Liang’s indictment charges that he engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the government, a conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and a conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act.
Liang’s plea agreement provides that he will cooperate with the government in its ongoing investigation. This requires him to provide the government with complete and truthful information regarding the scope of Volkswagen’s fraud, including the identities and actions of his co-conspirators.
The information disclosed in the indictment and plea agreement should prove useful to those pursuing civil claims against Volkswagen and others.
Steven T. Webster, Webster Book LLP