As part of his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop most of the counts and Schmidt consented to be deported at the end of his prison sentence.
In August, Oliver Schmidt pled guilty to federal charges of conspiring to defraud the US and violating the Clean Air Act in connection with Volkswagen's "clean diesel" emissions cheating scandal. Of the 500,000 affected vehicles sold in the USA, only 8,757 can be "attributed to Mr. Schmidt's misconduct, " his lawyers argued in the filing.
Oliver Schmidt, 48, is the second person to be imprisoned in the USA over the diesel emissions scandal.
In a letter to the judge published earlier this week, Schmidt said he felt like he was "misused" by VW in the diesel scandal.
James Liang, a former engineer, was sentenced to more than three years in August.
Federal Judge Sean Cox rejected defense claims that Schmidt had just "read from a script" provided by his superiors at Volkswagen.
Schmidt will be sentenced Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Detroit federal court.
Schmidt's plea deal stated that the former executive could face up to seven years in prison and between $40,000 and $400,000 in fines. Although six other VW Group executives have been indicted, none are in U.S. custody. The software allowed the cars to pass emissions tests under lab conditions, while disabling the emissions-control software under real-world driving conditions so the cars would have better performance.
Prosecutors say Schmidt concealed the software tricks to California regulators while offering "bogus" explanations of any differences in emissions.
According to a DOJ press release published today, "Schmidt knew that VW's diesel vehicles were not compliant with United States standards and regulations and that these representations made to domestic customers were false".
Schmidt headed VW's engineering and environmental office in MI from 2012 to early 2015, according to an Associated Press account.