VW's Scandal: The Buck Stops Here?

Personnel chief Peter Hartz has accepted full responsibility for bribing union officials, but prosecutors wonder whether others may have been in the loop

The lurid details of Volkwagen's sex-and-bribery scandal set Germany Inc. reeling in the summer of 2005. VW's former Chief of Personnel, Peter Hartz, paid $2.5 million dollars in illegal bribes over nine years to the company's labor boss to buy support for management plans. The illicit payments were used by VW Works' Council Chief Klaus Volkert to fund lavish foreign trips for worker representatives, with prostitutes, parties, and luxury hotels in Brazil and Lisbon—all disguised as business expenses.

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