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Volkswagen was ordered to pay $2.8 billion for cheating on diesel emissions tests

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A judge on Friday ordered Volkswagen to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty in the United States for cheating on diesel emissions tests.

U.S. District Judge Sean Cox granted VW's plea deal, six weeks after the automaker company pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a scheme involving nearly 600,000 diesel cars in the U.S.

Separately, VW is paying $1.5 billion in a civil case brought by government regulators and spending $11 billion to buy back cars and offer other compensation.

VW general counsel Manfred Doess said the company is not the same one that was caught 18 months ago.

"Volkswagen deeply regrets the behavior that gave rise to this case. ... Plain and simple it was wrong," Doess said. "We let people down and for that we're deeply sorry."

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