BusinessWeek reports that VW board member Ferdinand Piëch is in the crosshairs in the German automaker’s sex and bribery scandal. You may recall that VW took a bit of heat when investigators discovered that management had slipped $2.9m in secret payments to VW labor boss and supervisory board member Klaus Volkert. Oh, and $518k to Volkert’s Brazilian former lover Adriana Barros. Two years after the initial revelations, Volkert’s trial is finally underway, and the union boss is singing like a Kanarienvogel. Volkert’s lawyer has produced a smoking gun: a letter signed by Piëch authorizing the illegal payments. The development jibes with claims made by Klaus-Joachim Gebauer, the personnel manager on trial for his part in the crime. Gebauer has already testified that VW’s executive board knew about the slush funds, since they triggered monthly reports on budget overruns (filed as “executive board miscellaneous”). Since the scandal first broke, Piëch has denied any knowledge of the pay-offs. It’s unlikely VW’s largest stockholder will face perjury charges, but not impossible. [thanks to starlightmica for the link]
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