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Martin Winterkorn, Ex-VW Chief, Charged by Germany in Diesel Emissions Scheme

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BERLIN — German prosecutors on Monday charged Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s former chief executive, with aggravated fraud for his role in the automaker’s efforts to deceive regulators about its vehicles’ diesel exhaust levels.

In announcing the criminal case against Mr. Winterkorn and four other Volkswagen managers who were not named, the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig linked the charges to events that ran from 2006, when it said the deception was initially conceived, to 2015, when it came to light.

The prosecutor’s office said Mr. Winterkorn continued to conceal the emissions fraud even after he was told that outsiders were questioning the company’s emissions data. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Mr. Winterkorn, who stepped down as Volkswagen’s chief executive in 2015, has previously denied any wrongdoing. Felix Dörr, a lawyer for him, said on Monday that the prosecutor’s office had not given his team sufficient access to the files for it to comment on the charges.



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