DETROIT, MI — Volkswagen will pay a fine of $2.8 billion for its 
massive emissions cheating scandal under a sentence handed 
down by U.S. District Judge Sean Cox in federal court in Detroit 
Friday. Cox also put the German automaker on probation for
 three years.
Cox delayed sentencing last month after Volkswagen, the world’s 
largest automaker, pleaded guilty to rigging software in some of its
 diesel engine cars so they would pass tougher emissions standards 
adopted in 2007 and deceiving federal regulators for about 10 years.
In the March plea hearing, Volkswagen admitted that it installed
 so-called defeat devices in about 600,000 vehicles that tricked 
emissions testers into believing the cars performed below U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency standards, when in fact they
 belched carbon dioxide at a rate that was 40 times higher. VW 
pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by 
violating the Clean Air Act and obstructing justice during a
 government investigation of the scandal.
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After accepting Volkswagen’s guilty plea last month, Cox said
 Volkswagen committed a “very, very serious offense” and that
 “it is incumbent on me to make a considered decision.”
In January, the Justice Department and Volkswagen reached 
$4.3 billion settlement agreement, which VW lawyers argued
 was punishment enough. Cox had said in March that it might
 not be high enough, but the fine imposed Friday is well below
 the amount agreed to by the government and VW.
He could have fined Volkswagen between $17 billion and $34 billion 
under federal guidelines, but because the automaker admitted
 the conspiracy and agreed to oversight by an independent monitor
 for three years, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Neal recommended
 the $2.8 billion fine and Cox agreed it was adequate,The Detroit
 News reported.
“This is a case of deliberate, massive fraud perpetrated by VW
 management,” Cox said, according to a Detroit Free Press report.
 “This case also involves a failure of the VW supervisory board, 
which is government, labor and shareholders.”
The automaker has agreed to pay about $17 billion to settle civil
 lawsuits with U.S. consumers who bought the dirty cars. Cox’s
 sentencing order did not include restitution for the car owners.
“This corporate greed, this failure of management … has cost VW
 billions and billions of dollars,” Cox said. “The individuals who
 will be hurt the most are the working men and women at VW.”
They likely will be denied bonuses and raises because of VW
 executives’ actions, he said.