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SEC charges Volkswagen in emissions-cheating scandal

Jaclyn Jaeger | March 15, 2019

The Securities and Exchange Commission on March 14 charged Volkswagen, two of its subsidiaries, and its former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, with defrauding U.S. investors, raising 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.

According to the SEC’s complaint, from April 2014 to May 2015, Volkswagen issued more than $13 billion in bonds and asset-backed securities in the U.S. markets at a time when senior executives knew that more than 500,000 vehicles in the United States grossly exceeded legal vehicle emissions limits, exposing the company to massive financial and reputational harm. The complaint alleges that Volkswagen made false and misleading statements to investors and underwriters about vehicle quality, environmental compliance, and VW's financial standing. By concealing...

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