Porsche's former chief financial officer has been convicted of credit fraud by a German court in a criminal case relating to a failed 2009 bid by the sports car maker to buy Volkswagen.
Bloomberg reports Holger Haerter was convicted and fined 630,000 euros ($874,000) after a Stuttgart judge ruled the former executive downplayed Porsche’s liquidity needs and failed to disclose an accurate figure of put options the German manufacturer held on Volkswagen shares during loan negotiations with BNP Paribas about the bank’s 500 million-euro share of a syndicated 10 billion-euro loan that was part of the failed 2009 bid.
Stuttgart Regional Court Presiding Judge Roderich Martis said, “The information given by the defendants was wrong”.
“It doesn’t matter that they gave the correct information earlier in the process. It’s true also in normal life that a lie doesn’t disappear just because you once said the truth some time before.”
Haerter said he would appeal the conviction.
“Many things said by the court today were wrong,” Haerter said. “We are sure we will win.”
On August 1, 2012 Volkswagen AG acquired the remaining 50.1 per cent stake in Porsche Automobil Holding SE’s car making business for 4.46 billion euros, after purchasing a 49.9 per cent stake in 2009 following Porsche’s failed takeover bid.
The news comes only weeks after three former Saab executives, including the Swedish company’s former CEO, were arrested as part of an accounting fraud investigation.