The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Volkswagen executive who faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two people with knowledge of the arrest said on Sunday, marking an escalation of the criminal investigation into the automaker's diesel emissions cheating scandal.
Oliver Schmidt, who led Volkswagen's regulatory compliance office in the United States from 2014 to March 2015, was arrested on Saturday by investigators in Florida and is expected to be arraigned on Monday in Detroit, said the two people, a law enforcement official and someone familiar with the case.
Lawyers representing Mr. Schmidt did not respond to requests for comment late Sunday. Officials at the Justice Department also declined to comment, as did an F.B.I. spokesman in Detroit.
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In a statement, Jeannine Ginivan, a spokeswoman for Volkswagen, said that the automaker "continues to cooperate with the Department of Justice" but that "it would not be appropriate to comment on any ongoing investigations or to discuss personnel matters."
Lawsuits filed against Volkswagen by the New York and Massachusetts state attorneys general accused Mr. Schmidt of playing an important role in Volkswagen's efforts to conceal its emissions cheating from United States regulators.