3 June 2019.
On 28 May 2019 prosecutors raided German sports car maker and Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche on suspicion that an auditor was bribed to pass information to the company’s tax adviser and accepted benefits in exchange.
Private homes in nearby Pforzheim and Karlsruhe were also raided on suspicion that Uwe Hueck, a former member of the Porsche workers’ council, received unusually high compensation for his work. The prosecutors suspect that chief executive of Volkswagen’s Porsche business, Oliver Blume(in picture), was responsible for making high compensation to Uwe Hueck. The former workers’ council chief, Hueck, had a strong impact on Porsche, often weighing in on strategic decisions and product development. His contributions have repeatedly irked company management. According to German labour law, members of the workers’ council should be paid what they would have earned in a typical company career. Hueck, who started out as a painter, made the equivalent of about $500,000 per year. It is unlikely that he would have risen to this income bracket had he remained in the paint shop. He left the automaker earlier in 2019 to go into politics under the banner of Social Democrat political party. He is not being investigated.
The authorities turning on Porsche and placing the blame for alleged disproportionate payments solely on it and not the recipient, shows that times have changed for German companies.
In Germany’s members of works councils generally receive relatively high compensation and are sometimes given seats in the company’s board.
An official tax bureau and a tax advisors’ office were also raided.
Earlier this month, Porsche agreed to pay a fine of €535 million over its role in the separate diesel vehicles emissions cheating scandal.
Its parent company Volkswagen also admitted to manipulating 11 million vehicles to show that they are less polluting in the lab than on the road.