On Tuesday, Hans Dieter Pötsch, the chairman of Volkswagen’s supervisory board; Herbert Diess, the chief executive; and Martin Winterkorn, a former chief executive were charged with stock market manipulation for not alerting shareholders of a former United States investigation into the company’s diesel emissions.
The investigation concluded with charges of emissions cheating and shareholders were informed not long after in September, 2015 by a notice of violation issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This notice issued in September, 2015 had a large effect on the share price of Volkswagen as it fell by almost 50% following the release.
Furthermore, the event has resulted in $30 billion in court settlements and fines. All three men have issued statements denying allegations that they withheld information from shareholders and failed in their duties under German law. If convicted these three men could face up to five years in prison.
This is far from over and the event has been a thorn in the side of Volkswagen, both ethically and financially.