Arrested Volkswagen Executive Will Be Detained in U.S. Until Next Year

Oliver Schmidt could sentenced to 169 years in prison.

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Oliver Schmidt, ex-Volkswagen chief of the German automaker's Michigan-based environmental and engineering center, will be detained in the U.S. until his trial starts, which will begin on January 16, 2018, Reuters reports. Earlier this year (in January), Schmidt was arrested in Miami by the FBI before he was about to board a flight to Germany.

Prosecutors argued that Schmidt was considered a flight risk, and the federal judge who adjudicated this case—Judge Sean Cox of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan—agreed, saying, "The allegations of fraud and conspiracy in this case are very, very serious. There is a serious risk that Mr. Schmidt will not appear in this case."

Despite pleas from both Schmidt's family—who apparently pitched in a collective $1.6 million for his bail—and his defense attorney, David DuMouchel, the court agreed to keep Schmidt on US soil. 

Schmidt is charged with eleven felony counts and could face up to 169 years of prison time.