A Volkswagen logo is seen on a new car model at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Denis BalibouseMore

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Volkswagen AG and its former chief executive Martin Winterkorn over the German automaker’s diesel emissions scandal, accusing the company of perpetrating a “massive fraud” on U.S. investors.

The SEC said in its civil complaint filed in San Francisco late on Thursday that from April 2014 to May 2015, Volkswagen issued more than $13 billion in bonds and asset-backed securities in U.S. markets at a time when senior executives knew that more than 500,000 U.S. diesel vehicles grossly exceeded legal vehicle emissions limits.

Volkswagen “reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in

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