Volkswagen agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle more criminal and civil charges in the diesel-emissions cheating scandal. The Justice Department also announced the indictment of six senior managers at the German automaker.

The settlement includes a $2.8 billion criminal fine—the largest ever imposed on an automaker doing business in the U.S. The company also agreed to plead guilty to three separate felonies.

VW has admitted altering emissions control systems in thousands of VW diesel vehicles over several years in order to cheat on U.S. pollution standards. The automaker has already agreed to a $14.5 billion settlement to compensate car owners and address the environmental damage.

In announcing the latest settlement, Attorney General Loretta Lynch outlined what she called a corporate conspiracy to knowingly violate U.S. pollution laws. Senior executives, she said, overrode the objections of lower-level employees to the emissions cheating and lied in order to mislead regulators when they tried to investigate.

"For years, hundreds of thousands of cars were pumping illegal nitrogen oxides into our atmosphere,’’ Lynch said. "We saw a company where people at very high levels knew about this and chose to pursue these actions.’’

VW will also pay $1.45 billion to settle civil violations for laws enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

In addition to the fines, VW agreed to cooperate in the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigation. Lynch said there was a possibility other individuals would be charged, although she declined to elaborate. Volkswagen agreed to three years’ probation and to restructure its management to make future attempts to cheat tougher to implement and cover up.

An independent monitor will assess, oversee, and monitor Volkswagen’s compliance with the terms of the resolution, monitoring the implementation and establishing an enhanced ethics program.

"We’ve asked them to make some significant changes in the way the company operates,’’ EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. "This is why we have cops on the beat, so cheating doesn’t pay.’’

One of the six indicted executives, Oliver Schmidt, was arrested Sunday in Miami as he tried to board a plane to Germany. Schmidt is a former top emissions compliance manager for VW in the U.S. and played a central role in the cheating scandal, the FBI told the New York Times. 

The other five managers remain outside of the U.S. Lynch declined to comment on whether the U.S. would seek their extradition.

"Volkswagen broke the law,” said Laura MacCleery, vice president of consumer policy and mobilization for Consumer Reports. “The company cheated consumers and polluted the air, and now it is right that the company will pay a price for these harms.

"We commend the Justice Department for its work to bring justice to consumers, and for moving forward to hold executives accountable for this scandal," she added. "We will keep working with consumers and doing testing to hold all companies responsible."

One of the biggest questions now is what happens to U.S. corporate enforcement, said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. It’s not clear how aggressively the Trump administration will pursue corporate criminal cases. And it’s doubtful Germany will agree to send individuals to the U.S. to face trial, he said.

VW got its record-breaking fine because senior officers were involved and the company didn’t cooperate in the early parts of the government investigation, Henning said.

"This wasn’t just a couple of rogue engineers or a couple of cars,’’ Henning said. "It was the centerpiece of a corporate ad campaign. It was a core decision of management.’’