By on February 25, 2008

barrosdm3005_468×423.jpgWhile you were about to enjoy your weekend, a German court found former VW Labor rep Klaus Volkert guilty of 48 counts of incitement to fraud. Forbes reports that Volkert will face nearly three years in prison for his role in a long-running scheme which siphoned $3m in illegal "bonuses" from the German automaker's corporate coffers. Amongst other things, the money covered a $600k hush payment to Volkert's Brazilian lover and first-class international brothel excursions for Volkert and his union cronies (complete with Viagra prescribed by the company medical provider). Court testimony indicates that VW made the payments to ensure labor support for buying Bugatti and Bentley in 1998. "This is a crude case of class justice," Volkert's lawyer pronounced after the ruling. Although Volkert is obviously no working class hero, he may be taking the fall for corruption at the highest levels of VW management. Former Vee Dub exec Klaus-Joachim Gebauer– who received a one-year suspended sentence for his part in the scandal– testified that company Chairman Ferdinand Piech was aware of the "labor relations" slush fund. VW's CEO at the time and current Board Chairman has steadfastly maintained implausible deniability his ignorance of the fund. If Piech was in the dark, it begs the question: why didn't he know?

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5 Comments on “VW Labor Rep Klaus Volkert Convicted on 48 Fraud Counts...”

  • avatar

    Holy crap. Now I know why VW wouldn’t refund my $90 diagnostic fee which I paid them to tell my why my tranny was slipping (even though I told them it was low on fluid, they proceeded to tell me it wasn’t and that I needed a new trans computer). They were having to slip cash into a slush fund. Although I don’t know what the going rate for a brazilian mistress is these days, 600K seems a bit steep, especially for one that looks like it’s been driven more than a 60’s beetle.

  • avatar

    I didn’t realize that 60’s era beetles came with such enormous headlights.

  • avatar

    jetfast, lol, I just spit up my Diet Pepsi. After looking at the photo I am not so sure I blame the guy. Fortunately this could never happen in the automobile world in the U.S. :)

  • avatar

    “Un-pimp zine… Holy shnitzel! Look at the Tiguans on her!

  • avatar

    Was this in criminal court? It may a dumb question but why does the German State care if VW execs bought off its union bosses?

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