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Fraud probe targets top Porsche bosses

AFP
Three top executives at Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche including chief Oliver Blume are under investigation over alleged excessive payments to a former works council leader.
AFP
Fraud probe targets top Porsche bosses
AFP

Tthis file photo taken on March 17, 2017 shows Oliver Blume, CEO of German car maker Porsche, posing for photographers during the company's annual press conference in Stuttgart, southern Germany. Three top executives at Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche including chief Oliver Blume are under investigation over alleged excessive payments to a former works council leader, according to a Wednesday, May 29, 2019 media report.

Three top executives at Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche including chief Oliver Blume are under investigation over alleged excessive payments to a former works council leader, according to a Wednesday media report.

Prosecutors had said Tuesday they were probing five senior managers at the German sports car maker over "unjustified" and "disproportionately large" payments to the worker representative, but did not name the suspects.

Citing search warrants from Tuesday's raids at Porsche and other offices and private homes, news site Spiegel Online reported Porsche's finance director Lutz Meschke, human resources boss Andreas Haffner and CEO Blume were all in investigators' sights.

The outsized salary, bonuses and in-kind compensation to the former works council leader could have represented "fraud against Porsche" by the people behind them, prosecutors said.

Porsche and the people involved declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation, Spiegel reported.

Porsche confirmed Tuesday to AFP that the searches had taken place, adding that the carmaker "is cooperating fully with the authorities."

The raids were not related to Porsche's role in "dieselgate", the emissions cheating scandal over which it agreed to pay a fine of 535 million euros (US$669 million) earlier this month.

Parent company Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to manipulating 11 million vehicles worldwide to appear less polluting in the lab than on the road.

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