SEC Charges Volkswagen with Defrauding Investors

372,000 German drivers join legal action against Volkswagen
UWE ZUCCHI/AFP

The SEC has reportedly charged Volkswagen and the company’s former CEO with defrauding their investors.

CNBC reports that the SEC is charging auto manufacturer Volkswagen and the company’s former CEO with defrauding investors. The SEC alleges that Volkswagen made false and misleading statements to investors about the company’s environmental compliance standards, vehicle quality, and the company’s financial dealings. The SEC believes that Volkswagen has “perpetrated a massive fraud” according to court filings.

The SEC is also suing Volkswagen and former CEO Martin Winterkorn over the “Dieselgate” emissions scandal. The SEC is aiming to prevent Winterkorn from acting as an officer or director of a public U.S. company and recover any “ill-gotten gains” Winterkorn may have made as a result of the Dieselgate scandal. U.S. prosecutors charged Winterkorn in 2018 with conspiring to cover up the emissions scandal.

The SEC alleges in a complaint filed in San Francisco court that between April 2014 and May 2015 Volkswagen issued more than $13 billion in bonds and asset-backed securities. These were issued during a time in which executives were aware that more than 500,000 of the company’s diesel vehicles exceeded legal vehicle limits. In its summary filing, the SEC stated: “By concealing the emissions scheme, Volkswagen reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in benefit by issuing the securities at more attractive rates for the company.”

Volkswagen alleges that the SEC’s complaint “is legally and factually flawed,” a lawyer for Winterkorn refused to comment on the issue. Below is Volkswagen’s full statement to CNBC on the issue:

The SEC’s complaint is legally and factually flawed, and Volkswagen will contest it vigorously. The SEC has brought an unprecedented complaint over securities sold only to sophisticated investors who were not harmed and received all payments of interest and principal in full and on time. The SEC does not charge that any person involved in the bond issuance knew that Volkswagen diesel vehicles did not comply with U.S. emissions rules when these securities were sold, but simply repeats unproven claims about Volkswagen AG’s former CEO, who played no part in the sales. Regrettably, more than two years after Volkswagen entered into landmark, multibillion-dollar settlements in the United States with the Department of Justice, almost every state and nearly 600,000 consumers, the SEC is now piling on to try to extract more from the company.

Breitbart News will continue to follow VW’s battle with the government.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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