The US securities regulator announced a lawsuit against German automobile giant Volkswagen (VW), which claims it has raised billions of bonds while lending investors to the car emissions of its harmful gases.
From April 2014 to May 2015, Volkswagen has collected $ 13 billion in bonds and assets backed by assets in the United States, when group executives knew that more than 500,000 vehicles in the US market exceeded the legal limits of polluting emissions, according to the lawsuit filed by Securities Commission (SEC) on Thursday night in California.
Thanks to this, VW has earned hundreds of millions of dollars, SEC says.
In order to raise funds in US markets, issuers "need to provide investors with complete and accurate information," claims Stephanie Avakian, a DIP official.
"Volkswagen has been hiding its emissions (pollutants) for decades, while investors are selling billions of dollars at high prices," the agency said.
DIP intends to return unjustified profits with interest and fines. The aim is also to forbid Volkswagen's executive officer Martino Winterkorn to work in any public company in the United States.
In a statement, the German group replied that he considered the DIP case to be "incorrect" from both the court and the factual point of view and announced that he would strongly oppose it.
"The DIP requires an unrecognized security-related procedure that is sold only to trusted non-injured investors who are paid on time and in full with interest rates," VW says.
The group claims that the US regulator does not accuse any person responsible for issuing bonds because it knew that pollutant emissions exceeded the thresholds allowed by the United States, but "just repeating unproven accusations against the former executive director of Volkswagen who did not participate" in this case.
Up to now, "Dieselgate" has cost more than $ 31.700 million in vehicle upgrades and automotive court proceedings. Most of this amount was paid in the United States, where Volkswagen recovered almost half a million buyers.