Five of the indicted executives are in Germany, but the DoJ plans to collaborate with European enforcement agencies.The US Department of Justice has indicted six former Volkswagen executives and confirmed a $4.3 billion penalty to settle criminal and civil charges related to the diesel emissions scandal.The indicted high-level executives include former Richard Dorenkamp, Bernd Gottweis, Jens Hadler, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Jürgen Peter, and Oliver Schmidt. All six are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Dorenkamp, Neusser and Schmidt face an additional charge alleging Clean Air Act violations, while Neusser Gottweis, Schmidt and Peter have been hit with wire-fraud charges.
Dorenkamp previously led VW's development of low-emissions diesel engines. Jens Hadler and Heinz-Jakob Neusser also held leading roles in engine development. Bernd Gottweis was responsible for quality management, while Oliver Schmidt managed the company's environment and engineering office. Jürgen Peter served as a liaison between VW and regulatory agencies.
"These individuals all held positions of significant responsibility at VW, including overseeing the company's engine development division and serving on the company's management board," the DoJ said in a statement. "Over the course of a conspiracy that lasted for nearly a decade, they seriously abused those positions, and today, they are being charged with a range of crimes, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, violations of the Clean Air Act, and wire fraud."
The DoJ accuses VW of obstruction of justice, allegedly destroying documents related to the scheme. Other charges include violation of the Clean Air Act and a separate charge of importing vehicles into the US by means of false statements regarding compliance.
VW will be placed on probation for three years and required to retain an independent monitor to oversee its ethics and compliance program. It must also continue to cooperate as investigators attempt to pursue all individuals responsible for the alleged crimes.
Five of the indicted individuals reside in Germany. The agency plans to collaborate with German colleagues, however full details of any overseas enforcement plan remain unclear.