German prosecutors probe Volkswagen’s ex-CEO’s financial transfers

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn

German prosecutors stated on Monday they are probing if former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn moved some of his assets out of Germany after an inquiry into his role in the manipulation of anti-pollution tests.

Winterkorn was head of Volkswagen Group in September 2015 during the time U.S. regulators exposed the automaker’s cheating and he stepped down days after the scandal broke. Prosecutors in Germany and the United States are probing whether top Volkswagen managers were aware, and could have avoided, the pollution breaches.

“The circumstances around possible transfers of wealth may play a role investigating the question whether the accused Winterkorn knew about diesel manipulations and potentially reacted in some way,” the prosecutor’s office in the German city of Braunschweig stated.

Felix Doerr, a lawyer representing Winterkorn, did not replied to requests for comment. Winterkorn has earlier rejected advanced knowledge of emissions fraud or failing in his duty to tell investors in a timely manner.

Bild am Sonntag reported last week that transfers worth 7 million euros were made on January 31, last year from a bank located in Nuremberg, Bavaria to an auditor’s office in Munich. About 3.4 million euros of this ended up at Bank Vontobel in Switzerland, the paper stated.

The Braunschweig prosecutor’s office stated it was not probing Winterkorn for tax evasion, however had passed on some of its findings to the tax officials.

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