German prosecutors charge ex-VW chief, 4 others for cheating scandal

UPI International Top News |

German prosecutors indicted former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and four others on criminal charges Monday related to the emissions cheating scandal that's already cost the automaker billions.

Prosecutors say Winterkorn committed fraud, broke competition laws and breach of trust by failing to tell authorities about the devices installed on diesel-fuel vehicles that were designed to cheat emissions tests in the United States. An estimated 11 million diesel vehicles around the world were found to contain the illegal software.

Prosecutors say Winterkorn failed his duty as Volkswagen AG CEO to notify authorities and customers of the manipulative devices, even after it became clear they'd been installed on vehicles in the United States. He also did nothing to prevent continued installation, prosecutors said.

The charges are the first Winterkorn, 71, has faced in Germany. He was charged by U.S. authorities in 2017.

Volkswagen has so far spent about $32 billion as a result of the scandal.

The other four managers were charged with tax evasion, breach of trust and indirect false certification. They were not named in Monday's indictment.

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