By WSJ City
The US Securities and Exchange Commission said it charged Volkswagen, two of its units and former CEO Martin Winterkorn with defrauding US bond investors.The SEC said the German auto maker raised billions of dollars through the corporate bond and fixed-income markets, while making a series of deceptive claims about the environmental impact of the company's "clean diesel" fleet.
--- The SEC's complaint covers from April 2014 to May 2015, when it says VW issued more than $13bn in bonds and asset-backed securities in US markets.
--- It alleges senior executives knew that more than 500,000 vehicles in the US grossly exceeded legal vehicle-emissions limits.
--- That exposed the company to massive financial and reputational harm.
--- The SEC's complaint alleges that VW made false and misleading statements to investors and underwriters about vehicle quality, environmental compliance, and its financial standing.
--- VW on Friday called the complaint "legally and factually flawed" and said it would contest the charges "vigorously."
VW's emissions cheating came to light in September 2015, when Volkswagen admitted some 11m of its diesel vehicles world-wide were equipped with software that allowed them to sidestep emissions testing.In late 2016, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the US government over emissions levels for its diesel cars. The company also agreed to pay nearly $25bn in fines, penalties and compensation after it settled a number of civil lawsuits. Two Volkswagen employees caught up in the scandal have faced charges in the US, with one sentenced to just over three years in prison.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 15, 2019 05:53 ET (09:53 GMT)
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