Although he claims he did nothing wrong.
Martin Winterkorn may have resigned as Volkswagen CEO several months ago in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal, but only now is he under criminal potential investigation. According to The Detroit Bureau, Germany prosecutors "are looking into the possibility that the former CEO and another, unnamed executive may have violated stock market regulations by waiting months before advising VW investors about the diesel cheating scandal."
VW, of course, is claiming there are “no new facts or findings” that could indicate any violations by the pair. Investors have obviously not been happy over their financial losses and there a number of lawsuits filed against the German automaker in relation to that. But the investigation into Winterkorn will likely continue if the prosecutors acting on behalf of Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority have their way. So is there any damning evidence against Winterkorn? Possibly. A memo was sent to him on May 23, 2014 explaining possible irregularities involving diesel emissions. Thing is, VW can’t confirm whether or not Winterkorn actually saw the memo.
The issue wasn’t talked about again by VW’s top executives until July 27, 2015. The public became aware of the scandal on September 18, 2016. VW’s investors weren’t sent an advisory note until September 22, but shares had already dropped considerably by then. Sounds kind of hard to believe Winterkorn was completely unaware of what was going on for such a long period of time.