Aurick Go / Volkswagen | June 21, 2016 10:30
Conviction could result in five years in prison
Since the wake of the Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen has seen major changes in management. The German car maker announced last year that their CEO Martin Winterkorn has tendered his resignation to allow VW a fresh start. For German prosecutors however, it appears Winterkorn and another unnamed VW executive are not yet off the hook as they currently face a criminal investigation.
At this point, little is known about the proceedings of the investigation other than the fact that it is focusing on Winterkorn and another member of Volkswagen’s Board of Management.
Sources indicate however that the investigation revolves around "sufficient, real signs" that the company has failed to disclose the real scope of financial damage caused by the Dieselgate scandal. While VW confirmed the presence of ‘defeat devices’ last september, it appears they were in a position to inform investors prior to that date.
If Winterkorn and the other executive were to be convicted, they could face a fine or up to five years in prison.
In their press release, Volkswagen appears to downplay the news by saying "today’s press release from the Braunschweig public prosecution service does not cite any new facts or information on any serious breaches of duty by the members of the Board of Management now accused." They went on to say that an independent investigation by U.S. law firm Jones Day has yet to find any "serious and manifest breaches of duty on the part of any serving or former members of the Board of Management."