German prosecutors said Tuesday they have filed embezzlement charges against four Volkswagen executives for having accorded excessive salaries and bonuses to several members of an employees’ council.
The action benefitting five members of the works council cost the car giant around 5.1 million euros ($5.6 million) in overpayments, prosecutors said.
Of the sum, the chairman of the council alone received 3.1 million euros in excessive pay or bonuses.
The four accused were not named, but two were described as former board members. The third is an ex-executive and the fourth a “current leading manager”.
The case is the latest in a series of legal entanglements that Volkswagen is grappling with.
After it admitted four years ago to illegally fitting 11 million vehicles worldwide with software to make the cars seem less polluting, the German car giant has found itself battling a series of lawsuits.
Its top executives — past and present — have been charged with “market manipulation”, while shareholders have launched a massive joint lawsuit seeking nine billion euros of damages.
Some 400,000 drivers’ cases have also been bundled into a mammoth trial that began on September 30.