Former Audi boss Rupert Stadler was given a one-year and nine-month suspension term by a Munich court for fraud in the 2015 diesel scandal. He is the first former member of the Volkswagen board to get such a sentence.
Prosecutors had requested a fine of 2 million euros due to Stadler’s earnings at Volkswagen and Audi as well as his wealth in the form of real estate and financial assets. However, according to the court, the ex-boss was fined 1.1 million euros ($1.20 million), which will be donated to non-governmental organizations and the public treasury. The judge had stated that if Stadler admitted guilt, he would face a sentence between 1.5 and 2 years in prison.
A criminal prosecution against several former Volkswagen management is currently pending in Braunschweig, while the case against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has been put on hold because of his health issues.
After the diesel scandal, parent companies Volkswagen and Audi revealed in 2015 that they had employed illegal software to rig emissions tests, making the case one of the most well-known in the wake of the scandal. Immediately upon the scandal’s exposure, Stadler was charged with failing to prevent the sale of the manipulated automobiles in Germany.
Despite the fact that Staddler had previously denied the accusations, his attorney Ulrike Thole-Groll said that although Staddler was unaware that vehicles had been manipulated and buyers had been harmed, he recognized it as a possibility and acknowledged that he should have exercised more caution.
Furthermore, sentences were handed down for two further defendants as well, who were accused of meddling with motors: engineer Giovanni P. and former Audi executive Wolfgang Hatz. Giovanni P. received a year and 9 months in prison and a fine of 50,000 euros, while Hatz received a two-year suspended sentence and a 400,000 euro punishment.
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