News 15 march — 15:46

SEC sues Volkswagen, Winterkorn, citing 'Dieselgate' fraud on investors

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Volkswagen AG and its former chief executive Martin Winterkorn over the German automaker’s diesel emissions scandal, accusing the company of perpetrating a “massive fraud” on U.S. investors, Reuters reports.

The SEC said in its civil complaint filed in San Francisco late on Thursday that from April 2014 to May 2015, Volkswagen issued more than $13 billion in bonds and asset-backed securities in U.S. markets at a time when senior executives knew that more than 500,000 U.S. diesel vehicles grossly exceeded legal vehicle emissions limits.

Volkswagen “reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in benefit by issuing the securities at more attractive rates for the company,” the SEC said, adding VW “repeatedly lied to and misled United States investors, consumers, and regulators as part of an illegal scheme to sell its purportedly ‘clean diesel’ cars and billions of dollars of corporate bonds and other securities in the United States.”

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