The former chief executive of Volkswagen has been indicted in a federal court in the US city of Detroit over diesel emissions scandal.
Martin Winterkorn is charged with three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act, court papers showed Thursday.
The indictment brings the American criminal case to the uppermost levels of Volkswagen, which pleaded guilty last year to lying to the country’s environmental regulators about emission control systems.
“If you try to deceive the United States, then you will pay a heavy price,” US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
“The indictment unsealed today alleges that Volkswagen’s scheme to cheat its legal requirements went all the way to the top of the company.”
The indictment alleges that the automaker’s top executive at the time knew about the plot.
Volkswagen has admitted to programming its diesel engines to activate pollution controls when being…