Ex-VW CEO faces organized commercial fraud charges in Germany


FRANKFURT — Former Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn will face charges of conspiracy to commit organized commercial fraud with a high likelihood of conviction, a court probing the carmaker’s diesel emissions scandal said on Wednesday.

A court in Braunschweig, Germany, near where Volkswagen is headquartered, expanded the list of charges beyond fraud to include organized commercial fraud, preliminary remarks published by the court at the start of the trial showed.

Winterkorn and other Volkswagen executives face charges for their role in allowing diesel cars with illegal emissions-masking software to hit the road.

Because Volkswagen vehicles had higher pollution levels than was declared, they should have been subject to higher road tax, and former Volkswagen executives should therefore also face charges of tax evasion and false advertising, the court added.

The scandal, which was uncovered by U.S. authorities in September 2015, has cost Volkswagen more than 30 billion euros ($35 billion) in refits, legal fees and settlements, and resulted in a drastic management and strategy overhaul.

A lawyer for Winterkorn said his client denied the charges. The accusations against Winterkorn are limited in scope and relate to a specific instance in time, the lawyer added.

Volkswagen said that while it was no longer the target of prosecutors after settling charges, it wanted to emphasize that all of the accused were innocent until proven guilty.

Volkswagen also said it had taken extensive measures to change processes, systems and controls to improve compliance in the wake of the emissions scandal.

Reporting by Jan Schwartz in Braunschweig; writing by Edward Taylor; editing by Mark Potter



Source link

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

2021 Audi A6 Gets More Standard Power and a Sportier Look

Audi isn’t waiting for a new model year to give A6 customers more horsepower. Having undergone a mid-model year refresh, the 2021 Audi...

Some Psoriasis Meds May Also Help Prevent Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Sept. 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Biologic therapy for the skin condition psoriasis may...

COVID Plan ‘Built on Bedrock of Science’

Nov. 9, 2020 -- President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team...

Amazon has rapidly expanded its air fleet during the pandemic

The airline industry may be reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, but Amazon's air cargo business has rapidly accelerated in recent months.Between May and...

From the Archives: Detroit Mid-Engine Sports Cars Are Coming

Back in our December 1969 issue, we ran a story highlighting Ford and Chevrolet’s skunk works effort to develop new mid-engine supercars. With...