Published: Fri, May 04, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Former VW CEO Charged With Conspiracy Over Dieselgate Scandal

Former VW CEO Charged With Conspiracy Over Dieselgate Scandal

A MI federal court has charged former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn with defrauding the US for his role in the VW diesel emissions scandal, according to a report from Reuters.

Winterkorn, 70, was also charged with wire fraud and violating the Clear Air Act, through Volkswagen's use of an illegal device to cheat U.S. emissions tests.

The charges have been filed accusing him of a conspiracy to cover up the Volkswagen Group's emissions cheating between 2006 and 2015 when it was finally uncovered.

The U.S. believes Winterkorn is now in Germany but did not announce yet plans to arrest or extradite him. Winterkorn resigned shortly after the scandal became public. VW executives also approved a script, "consistent with Winterkorn's alleged directive", for a meeting with CARB to hide their emissions cheating.

The indictment, filed in secret in March, was unsealed in US District Court as Volkswagen held its annual meeting in Germany. In March 2017, VW pleaded guilty to the criminal charges and acknowledged that it had installed software created to modulate harmful nitrogen oxide output depending whether the vehicle was being tested or driven on a road.

It emerged then that VW had installed the so-called defeat device in 11 million vehicles worldwide. Sessions added the government will "prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law". "They were allegedly shown a PowerPoint presentation which explained "(1) how VW was deceiving US regulators, including precisely what information had been disclosed and what had not yet been disclosed; and (2) the potential consequences of VW being caught cheating".

Five other VW execs and managers have been indicted but remain at large.

A Volkswagen spokesman in Germany said the company "continues to cooperate with investigations" of individuals but would not comment on Thursday's charges. But only two VW engineers have been jailed after pleading guilty to participating in the conspiracy.

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