Former Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn has been charged by prosecutors with conspiring to defraud the US by misleading regulators over the dieselgate scandal.
The charges against Winterkorn, who resigned from his role as the Volkswagen Group’s chief executive in September 2015, were made by a Detroit federal court in March, although the indictment was sealed until today (3 May).
Winterkorn, 70, was also charged with wire fraud and violating the Clear Air Act, through Volkswagen’s use of an illegal device to cheat US emissions tests.
In a statement, US attorney general Jeff Sessions said: “The indictment unsealed today alleged that Volkswagen’s scheme to cheat its legal requirements went all the way to the top of the company. These are serious allegations, and we will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.”
Winterkorn is the ninth person to be charged over the dieselgate scandal by US prosecutors. Two have pleaded guilty and are currently in prison in the US.
According to Reuters, a spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office in Detroit has confirmed Winterkorn is not in custody. Six of the executives so far charged are in Germany, which does not generally extradite its citizens.