Saturday, October 31, 2020

German Police Raid Porsche Executive’s Offices and Homes Over Bribery Charges

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It’s being reported that German prosecutors, state criminal police, tax officials, and a number of state lawyers conducted a mid-day raid on “six persons, some of whom are executives of Porsche AG” in response to a probe involving confidential information leaks, bribery, and “breach of fiduciary trust.”

The sweeping investigation by German authorities included the search of a number of offices at Porsche AG’s Weissach and Stuttgart facilities, as well as further searches at the private homes of the suspected individuals. German prosecutors also confirmed that the offices of a tax consulting firm based in Stuttgart, and the offices of finance authorities, were also searched.

Stuttgart public prosecutor’s office later confirmed that the raid involved 10 lawyers and “176 members of the state criminal police of Baden-Wurttemberg.” Members of the raid also included police, tax specialists, and investigators from [the cities of] Aalen, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, and Ludwigsburg.”

According to Reuters, one official “is being probed on suspicion of having leaked confidential information to a tax advisor of Porsche AG in exchange for receiving favors.” What those favors were wasn’t disclosed by the prosecutor’s office.

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Porsche AG’s executives, however, are being investigated on the suspicion of a “breach of fiduciary trust on having granted disproportionate payments to a member of Porsche’s works council.” Though the prosecutor’s declined to detail specific charges, how the office uses the term “disproportionate” feels eerily similar to the wording of the charges levied against Nissan-Renault’s Carlos Ghosn.

When The Drive reached out to Porsche AG for a statement, a spokesperson said, “We confirm that today, Tuesday May 28, 2019, investigating officers inspected and secured records in the offices of Porsche AG at sites in the Stuttgart area. Porsche AG is cooperating fully with the authorities in this matter. As this is an ongoing investigation, please understand that we are unable to comment further or provide any more details.”

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