Volkswagen Deferred Prosecution Agreement
Extracting an admission of guilt from a large corporation is a remarkable achievement for a government that has been accused of allowing companies to redeem themselves through alleged deferred enforcement. The step comes, as outgoing members of the Obama administration, run to end big business before leaving their jobs. Bouchard played a key behind-the-scenes role in trying to convince Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould to order prosecutors to accept a deferred prosecution agreement that would have allowed Montreal-based engineering firm SNC Lavalin not to plead guilty to its cases in Libya. In August 2019, Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion found that Mr. Trudeau had violated ethical laws by pressuring Wilson-Raybould, who then left his cabinet in the fallout of the case. SOUNDBITE Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney General: “Today, the Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Customs and Border Services have reached a comprehensive solution with Volkswagen, which results in criminal and civil penalties. Under the resolution, Volkswagen pleads guilty to three crimes: conspiracy to defraud in the United States, commission of instigators and violation of clean air law; Obstruction of justice and the importation of goods by misrepresentation. SOUNDBITE Loretta Lynch, U.S. Secretary of Justice: “Hundreds of thousands of cars sold by Volkswagen in the United States have injected illegal nitrogen oxide levels into our atmosphere, up to 40 times more than permitted by federal law.
In addition, these vehicles were equipped with software that concealed the actual amount of pollutants emitted by cars and outsmarted regulators during environmental tests. To be clear, Volkswagen was aware of these problems, and when the supervisory authorities expressed concerns, Volkswagen veiled, they denied it, and they ended up lying. SOUNDBITE Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney General: “The agreement also requires Volkswagen to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties and take specific measures to prevent future violations. These sanctions are in addition to those already announced with Volkswagen for more than $15 billion. As part of the complaint, Volkswagen was also sentenced to three years` probation; Maintains an independent monitor to monitor its ethics and compliance program. and will cooperate fully with our ongoing investigation into those responsible for these crimes. SOUNDBITE Loretta Lynch, USA