Is the former CEO on this list?
Only days before the US presidential transition, the US Justice Department has announced that it has indicted six Volkswagen executives for their part in the Dieselgate scandal. According to The Washington Post, at least a few of these executives are described as "high ranking." Five of the six are currently residing in Germany, but the sixth individual was just arrested in Miami, Florida. Only this past Wednesday did Volkswagen agree to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil fines, in addition to buybacks, in order to settle with the DOJ.
In addition—and this is somewhat unusual for a large corporation—VW agreed "to plead guilty to three criminal counts." When Toyota and GM were in the hot seat for the unintended acceleration and ignition switch scandals, respectively, neither one admitted wrongdoing or faced criminal charges in the end; both paid billions in fines only. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe further added that, "We cannot put companies in jail, but we can hold their employees personally accountable and we can force companies to pay hefty fines." These VW executives were aware of the automaker’s deception and violation of the law for nearly a decade.
Now they each face one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and American consumers, and violation of the Clean Air Act. So, without further ado, here are the six VW executives who could end up in the slammer: Heinz-Jakob Neusser, 56, Jens Hadler, 50, Richard Dorenkamp, 68, Bernd Gottweis, 69, Oliver Schmidt (the man arrested in Miami), 48, and Jürgen Peter, 59. VW has yet state the employment status of the six, but did make clear that it’s “not the same company it was 16 months ago.”