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April 20, 2017

Ex-Enron prosecutor to oversee US VW diesel deal

Volkswagen, due to be sentenced this week in the US for rigging emissions tests, will get a court-approved monitor who is a former chief of the government's prosecution of Enron, a media report said.

Volkswagen , due to be sentenced this week in the US for rigging emissions tests, will get a court-approved monitor who is a former chief of the government's prosecution of Enron, a media report said.

Larry Thompson, deputy attorney general under George W Bush and more recently served chief counsel for PepsiCo, was chosen by the company for the three-year post and accepted by the Justice Department, Bloomberg sources said. Thompson's selection is likely to be announced when the automaker is sentenced in federal court on Friday.

Thompson will oversee the automaker's compliance with the Justice Department's settlement agreement as well as ensure the company is following through with a consent decree in a massive civil resolution with consumers and states in federal court in California. He'll also be tasked with assessing the company's compliance programme in order to prevent future criminal fraud or environmental violations, Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg said VW's plea agreement requires the company monitor be someone who has experience with federal anti-fraud and environmental laws, corporate ethics, automotive industries and "sufficient independence" from the company.

Thompson also worked for Ford early in his career, was appointed to the Justice Department's second highest post in 2001 and, a year later, was tapped to lead the administration's corporate fraud task force, which included its investigation into Enron.

During his stint as deputy attorney general, Thompson contended with a spate of corporate scandals, including Arthur Andersen and WorldCom, in addition to Enron, Bloomberg noted.

Thompson will be tasked with inspecting company documents, making on site visits and interviewing officers and employees. He'll then make regular reports and recommendations to VW's management board and the Justice Department, Bloomberg said. Any potential misconduct found by Thompson would be reported to VW officials, and possibly the Justice Department, according to the plea agreement.

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