Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen from 2007 to 2015 was indicted for conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with the company’s emissions testing in the United States. Volkswagen indicated that It was cooperating with U.S. officials, bit neither Mr. Winterkorn nor his attorney had any comments following the announcement of the indictment.However, Mr. Winterkorn said after the emissions scandal emerged in 2015 that he had no knowledge of the software fix that caused emissions in VW cars to be lower during testing than they actually were. The indictment alleges that he was told about the emissions evasion techniques in May of 2014 and again in 2015.
The indictment represents the highest executive-level charges since 2011, when Siemens executives were charged in connection with the company’s payment of bribes in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).The allegations in the indictment do not line up with the findings of VW’s own internal investigation. Tangled webs and all being what they are.