Volkswagen South Korea Executive Given Jail Sentence For Emissions Cheating

A Volkswagen executive in South Korea is the first to receive a jail sentence over the diesel emissions scandal.

The sentencing by a South Korean court for one-and-a-half years in prison is for an executive listed only by the surname Yun. He was convicted of fabrication, obstruction of work, and violation of an environmental law.

“Volkswagen has by itself undermined its credibility as a global brand as a result of this crime which has caused grave social and economic damages,” the Seoul Central District Court said in a statement Friday, referring to a sales suspension of VW vehicles from last year.

VW executives face other criminal trials around the world. One engineer, James Liang, pleaded guilty in a U.S. court in September on a conspiracy charge over fraudulent emissions software. He was the first employee to be indicted and plead guilty on criminal charges due to false diesel car emissions reporting claims. Liang is still awaiting sentencing.

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The South Korean government has been severe with VW since raiding its corporate offices last year and fining the automaker 17.8 billion won ($14.91 million) for allegedly forging documents on emissions or noise-level tests; and later filing for an additional 37.3 billion won ($31.87 million) for false advertising.

Criminal charges have been filed against Johannes Thammer, managing director of Audi Volkswagen Korea.

Yun is still under investigation by Seoul prosecutors.

“Audi Volkswagen Korea (AVK) has fully cooperated with the Prosecutor’s Office and will participate in good faith in the upcoming court proceedings,” the VW unit said in a statement after Yun’s conviction.

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