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Volkswagen has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and settle the federal investigation into its "clean diesel" emissions fraud -- for $4.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties. That comes on top of the nearly $15 billion the company has agreed to pay to consumers, making VW's emissions scandal perhaps the most costly corporate scandal ever.

But that's hardly the end of things for VW. Last week, six executives were charged with wire fraud, conspiracy, and violations of the Clean Air Act -- and more prosecutions could be coming, implicating even the company's in-house attorneys.

Takata to Pay $1 Billion in Air Bag Scandal

Japanese auto-parts maker Takata will pay $1 billion as part of a criminal settlement stemming from the company's cover-up of defective air bags that contributed to the deaths of at least a dozen motorists and injuries to almost two hundred others.

The U.S. Justice Department announced the deal Friday, which included one guilty plea to wire fraud, $25 million in fines, $125 million for injured motorists, and $850 million for recall and replacement costs. Prosecutors said Takata and three of its executives, who separately face fraud and conspiracy charges, repeatedly falsified critical test data about the safety of its products for more than a decade.

"Automotive suppliers who sell products that are supposed to protect consumers from injury or death must put safety ahead of profits," said U.S. Attorney McQuade. "If they choose instead to engage in fraud, we will hold accountable the individuals and business entities who are responsible."

NY Times Promotes David McCraw, Lawyer Who Called Out Trump During Election

David E. McCraw, newly appointed deputy general counsel for the New York Times, isn't one to shy away from confronting powerful people. At least, that's the reputation he earned for himself when he stood up against Donald Trump's lawyers during the presidential campaign last year.

They demanded that the Times apologize and retract an article about two women who alleged Trump had groped them. Showing that the pen may be mightier than the sword, McCraw virtually stared them down and said: "Go ahead. Make my day."

Volkswagen Exec Arrested in Diesel Scandal

When Volkswagen first got caught cheating emissions tests in 2014, Oliver Schmidt was right to think his company might have a problem.

"It should first be decided whether we are honest," he said in an email to a Volkswagen colleague in April 2014. Schmidt was working as an executive over emissions testing in the United States at the time, but was transferred to Germany after the revelations led to a fiasco that has cost the company so far about $20 billion to pay for recalls, settlements, and criminal defense.

Arrested this week in Miami, Schmidt may now be thinking whether he should have returned to the United States. He has been charged with defrauding the government and conspiracy in the biggest cover-up of Clean Air Act violations in history.

Fiat Chrysler is the smallest of Detroit's 'Big Three' automakers. But it could become a lot bigger if it merged with General Motors.

If such a merger happened, it would likely have the blessing of President-elect Donald Trump -- and presumably the regulators working for his administration. At least, that's what Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne speculated this week.

In April, the Department of Labor finalized rules for financial advisors handling retirement accounts, requiring, for the first time, that broker-dealers and financial advisors act in the best interests of their clients. Choosing suitable investments will no longer be enough; there's now a fiduciary duty to "put the customer first."

So, how are firms preparing for the change? With lawyers. Lots of lawyers. (And a bit of retraining on the side.)

The fallout from Wells Fargo's fake account scandal continued this week, as California suspended its business relationships with the bank and former employers filed two class actions lawsuits, alleging that they were illegally fired for abiding by the law and not opening fake accounts in consumers names.

Earlier this month, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $185 million in fines after it was revealed that the banks employees had created millions of fake accounts in order to meet internal cross-selling goals. Additionally, Wells Fargo's CEO John Stumpf forfeited $41 million in unvested stock awards. But, as this week's developments have shown, the aftermath is far from over.

Fox wants to keep its executives from streaming over to Netflix, and it's calling on its lawyers to help it out. 21st Century Fox sued Netflix in Los Angeles Superior Court last Friday, accusing the online video streaming company of engaging in a "brazen campaign to unlawfully target, recruit, and poach valuable Fox executives."

Such a lawsuit is unusual in the entertainment industry, the Los Angeles Times notes, where back-and-forth hiring of executive talent is common. But Fox thinks the lawsuit is worth it, saying that Netflix "is defiantly flouting the law by soliciting and inducing employees to break their contracts."

Multinational companies aren't putting much faith in the "Privacy Shield" agreement between the United States and the European Union, a recent survey of privacy professionals shows. Barely a third of surveyed businesses plan on using the agreement, which makes it easier to for companies to transfer personal information on European citizens outside the EU. The Privacy Shield agreement was meant to replace a previous data sharing agreement, known as Safe Harbor, which was struck down last October, in part because U.S. companies could not protect European data from NSA snooping.

But the alternative to the Privacy Shield isn't too great either. Instead of relying on the Privacy Shield agreement, most companies have turned to model contract clauses -- clauses that many expect to be invalidated by the European Court of Justice, the Wall Street Journal reports.

For years, employees at Wells Fargo crushed sales targets and pulled down bonuses by opening millions of fake accounts on behalf of the bank's real customers, all without those customers' knowledge or consent. Those fake banking and credit card accounts would then wrack up fees which customers would be stuck with. In total, more than 2 million fake accounts could have been created, according to Wells Fargo's own analysis.

The massive fraud was made public today, when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it was fining the bank $100 million, its largest fine ever. And that's just the start. Wells Fargo has also agreed to pay $35 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and $50 million to Los Angeles, for a total of $185 million in fines. The company will also payout "full restitution to all victims," on top of the fines.