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Former VW CEO Winterkorn’s Legal Problems May Just Be Starting

Automaker considering lawsuit of its own.

by on May.07, 2018

No, that's not a mug shot of former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn - not yet, anyway.

While former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is unlikely ever to actually face prosecution in the U.S., his legal problems appear to be just starting.

The 70-year-old Winterkorn resigned in 2015 shortly after the automaker confirmed reports it had cheated on diesel emissions tests, subterfuge that has so far cost it an estimated $30 billion. Last week, the former CEO became the latest VW executive to be charged in the case, U.S. prosecutors accusing him of conspiring to defraud the United States, as well as violating the Clean Air Act.

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Germany has severe restrictions on extradition, meaning Winterkorn almost certainly would not be sent to the U.S. to face trial. But prosecutors in his home country are continuing their own investigation and could yet bring charges there. Meanwhile, VW’s board of directors is considering whether to seek damages from the one-time executive for his role in the cheating scandal.

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