VW CEO, Chairman Charged with Misleading Shareholders over Dieselgate Scandal

By Paul Riegler on 26 September 2019
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Volkswagen AG Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch, VW CEO Herbert Diess, and former VW CEO Martin Winterkornwere charged with misleading shareholders in the months that preceded the 2015 Dieselgate emissions-cheating scandal.

The Staatsanwaltschaft, or state prosecutor, in Braunschweig is said the executives withheld information about the scandal from shareholders in an effort to prop up the Wolfsburg automaker’s share price.

The indictment of the current chairman and CEO is a blow to the company, which had tried to put l’affaire Dieselgate behind it.

In 2015, the German auto giant admitted to using software to skirt clean-air laws, making its cars appear to be less polluting than they actually were.

U.S. federal prosecutors indicted Winterkorn in 2018 on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy relating to Dieselgate.  He was accused of violating the U.S. Clean Air Act and defrauding customers in the United States.  More recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it was suing both Winterkorn and his former employer for carrying out “a massive fraud” by raising billions of dollars from investors with false information about the company’s prospects.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)