The Latest: VW senior manager gets 7 years in US prison

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(Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP, File). FILE - This January 2017 file photo provided by the Broward County Sheriff's Office shows German Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt. Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison sentence for Schmidt, a Vo... (Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP, File). FILE - This January 2017 file photo provided by the Broward County Sheriff's Office shows German Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt. Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison sentence for Schmidt, a Vo...

DETROIT (AP) - The Latest on the sentencing of Volkswagen senior manager Oliver Schmidt in the company's diesel emissions scandal (all times local):

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4 p.m.

A Volkswagen senior manager has been sentenced to seven years in a U.S. prison for concealing software that was used to evade pollution limits on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles.

Lawyers spent roughly 90 minutes giving different views about Oliver Schmidt's culpability in the scandal. But Judge Sean Cox sided with prosecutors, calling Schmidt a "key conspirator" who viewed the cover-up as an opportunity to "shine" and "climb the corporate ladder."

Schmidt led VW's engineering and environmental office in Michigan from 2012 to early 2015. He met with key California regulators in 2015 but didn't disclose the rogue software. The government says he later misled U.S. investigators and destroyed documents.

Schmidt's lawyers argued that his role only heated up in 2015, years after others at VW hatched the scheme.

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1:05 a.m.

Lawyers for a Volkswagen senior manager say his U.S. prison sentence shouldn't exceed 40 months for his role in the automaker's diesel emissions scandal.

Oliver Schmidt will be sentenced Wednesday in Detroit federal court. The U.S. government is asking a judge to send him away for seven years.

VW used sophisticated software to cheat emissions rules on nearly 600,000 U.S. vehicles. Schmidt led VW's engineering and environmental office in Michigan from 2012 to early 2015.

Prosecutors say Schmidt concealed the software tricks to California regulators while offering "bogus" explanations of any differences in emissions. But his lawyers point out that he wasn't involved when the scheme was hatched years earlier by the company.

VW pleaded guilty as a corporation in March and agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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