(DETROIT, MI) – An indictment was unsealed yesterday charging Martin Winterkorn, 70, the former chairman of the management board of Volkswagen AG, with conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with VW’s long-running scheme to cheat US diesel vehicle emissions requirements.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement
The superseding indictment was issued by a federal grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of Michigan and charges Winterkorn with four counts of violating federal law.
The first count charges that Winterkorn conspired with other senior VW executives and employees to defraud the United States, defraud VW’s US customers, and violate the Clean Air Act by making false representations to regulators and the public about the ability of VW’s supposedly “clean diesel” vehicles to comply with US emissions requirements.
The remaining three counts charge Winterkorn with wire fraud in connection with the scheme.
“If you try to deceive the United States, then you will pay a heavy price,” said Sessions. “The indictment unsealed today alleges that Volkswagen’s scheme to cheat its legal requirements went all the way to the top of the company. These are serious allegations, and we will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.”
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.