SEC charges Volkswagon, former CEO with defrauding investors

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators charged Volkswagen and former CEO Martin Winterkorn with defrauding investors during its massive diesel emissions scandal.

The charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission come two years after the German automaker settled with the U.S. over criminal and civil charges, as the company tries to distance itself from one if its darkest eras.

The SEC said that between April 2014 and May 2015, Volkswagen issued more than $13 billion in bonds and asset-backed securities in U.S. markets when senior executives knew that more than 500,000 vehicles in the country grossly exceeded legal vehicle emissions limits.

Volkswagen made false and misleading statements to investors and underwriters about vehicle quality, environmental compliance, and the company’s financial standing, which gave Volkswagen a financial benefit when it issued securities at more attractive rates for the company, according to the SEC.

“Volkswagen hid its decade-long emissions scheme while it was selling billions of dollars of its bonds to investors at inflated prices,” said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division.

Source: Associate Press

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