The largest securities agency in the United States has accused Volkswagen of undertaking a "massive fraud" and lying to investors, the latest in a diesel emissions scandal that has haunted the German automaker.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said late Thursday sued Volkswagen and Martin Winterkorn, its former CEO, in a case related to a ten-year project undertaken by one of the world's largest automobile manufacturers to test diesel emissions .
The agency is looking to Mr. Winterkorn was an executive director of any company listed in the United States. He is also trying to recover what is called Volkswagen's "bad earnings". Federal prosecutors criminally accused Mr. Winterkorn in 201
Volkswagen said in a statement that he had raised money from sophisticated investors who turned back their principal and interest, and that the SEC "is now piling up to try to extract more from the company."
"The complaint of S.E.C. is legally and effectively defective, and Volkswagen will vigorously contest it", reads the statement.
Mr. Winterkorn has denied offenders in the past, including testimony before the German Parliament. Steven Molo, Winterkorn's attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the most recent annual report of the author, he pointed out the possibility of a lawsuit and stated that the H.E.C. had requested information relating to potential violations of securities laws. In a statement to CNBC, the company claimed that the complaint was "legally and factually defective", and the automaker accused the agency of "accumulating"
. He entered into a $ 14.7 billion deal to settle shareholders' claims arising from the diesel cheating scandal. It was the largest consumer class action agreement in the United States of the time.
Volkswagen recognized in 2015 that it had put illegal software on 11 million cars around the world that could help them deceive pollution tests.
While he betrayed these tests, he raised money from American investors. Between April 2014 and May 2015, Volkswagen raised more than $ 13 billion from US investors in the bond and bond markets, although top executives knew that hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles exceeded vehicle emission limits by a wide margin. SEC he said in his complaint, which was filed in San Francisco.
Mr. Winterkorn and other Volkswagen executives were informed about devices that had been used to hide emissions issues as early as November 2007, during a meeting with engineers on problems with the automaker's "clean diesel" cars, the regulator said in the his complaint
"Although at least one participant in the meeting warned that putting existing cars on the road in the United States would damage VW's reputation if high-emission vehicles were later discovered, these concerns were ignored," the SEC said in its complaint
Lying, Volkswagen was going to collect hundreds of millions of dollars from investors on more favorable terms for the company, he said.
Volkswagen has made "false and misleading statements to investors and underwriters about the quality vehicle, environmental compliance and financial position of VW", the SEC said Thursday