BERLIN — German prosecutors on Monday charged Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s former chief government, with aggravated fraud for his position within the automaker’s efforts to deceive regulators about its automobiles’ diesel exhaust ranges.
In saying the felony case in opposition to Mr. Winterkorn and 4 different Volkswagen managers who weren’t named, the general public prosecutor’s workplace in Braunschweig linked the costs to occasions that ran from 2006, when it mentioned the deception was initially conceived, to 2015, when it got here to gentle.
The prosecutor’s workplace mentioned Mr. Winterkorn continued to hide the emissions fraud even after he was advised that outsiders had been questioning the corporate’s emissions information. If convicted, he may very well be sentenced to as much as 10 years in jail.
Mr. Winterkorn, who stepped down as Volkswagen’s chief government in 2015, has beforehand denied any wrongdoing. Felix Dörr, a lawyer for him, mentioned on Monday that the prosecutor’s workplace had not given his staff ample entry to the recordsdata for it to touch upon the costs.
In March, the USA Securities and Change Fee filed a lawsuit in opposition to Volkswagen accusing the corporate of defrauding American traders. The fee mentioned within the go well with that Mr. Winterkorn had been conscious of what it known as a “huge” emissions fraud as early as November 2007.
In Could 2018, the Justice Division indicted Mr. Winterkorn and a number of other different Volkswagen executives on prices that they conspired within the rigging of diesel automobiles to feign compliance with federal air pollution requirements.
The German prosecutor’s workplace additionally charged Mr. Winterkorn with approving a ineffective software program replace in 2014 at a value of 23 million euros (round $26 million) regardless of figuring out that it might not get rid of the so-called defeat gadget know-how Volkswagen employed to cheat emissions checks.