Winterkorn is charged with conspiring with other senior VW executives to make false claims that the automaker's supposed "clean diesel" vehicles complied with U.S. emissions requirements, the U.S. Justice Department announced.
The indictment alleges that Winterkorn conspired with company executives and employees to violate the Clean Air Act and defraud the U.S. and customers living there by falsely claiming that its "clean diesel" vehicles met United States emissions requirements.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Environmental Protection Adminstration chief Scott Pruitt and other senior Trump administration official issued statements criticising VW with the indictment, which marks a rare instance of a chief executive being subjected to criminal prosecution for corporate behavior. "These are serious allegations and we'll prosecute this case to the full extent of the law".
Winterkorn resigned soon after the scandal came to light in September 2015.
Winterkorn became the ninth person charged in connection with the emissions cheating scandal. Two former VW engineers have been jailed...
Winterkorn, 70, was listed for the first time with five other German Volkswagen executives originally charged in 2016, who the government believes are responsible for the company's diesel emissions scandal.
NBA Warns Drake About 'Bad Language' Following Incident With Player
He was asked by Cavs' security after game one if he wanted an escort to the team bus in case he ran into Drake . Because of that, both the league and the Raptors talked to Drake about the situation with Perkins.
United Kingdom and Eurozone manufacturing growth shows signs of slowdown after stellar 2017
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that its key manufacturing index fell to 57.3 in April from 59.3 in March. The growth of output and new orders eased, while business optimism dipped to a five-month low.
Ministers split over future customs arrangement post-Brexit
The government is working on two proposals on how to manage tariffs and the movement of goods after Brexit. The EU has pushed back against both.
The US indictment of Mr Winterkorn is likely to be largely symbolic.
As the diesel situation in the United States became increasingly alarming to VW senior management, a meeting was held on July 27, 2015 at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, according to the Justice Department. They also spelled out the potential consequences of being caught.
The former Volkswagen chief is also under investigation by German authorities.
The indictment alleges that Winterkorn knew of the emissions cheating as far back as May 2014, and that he was informed again of it in July 2015.
Prosecutors say Winterkorn knew of the company's emissions cheating as early as May 2014 but made a decision to continue with the fraud, the Justice Department said in a statement. Less than one month later, on September 3rd 2015, Volkswagen admitted to using defeat devices. The Justice Department also extends its thanks to the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Braunschweig, Germany.