August 1, 2017 / 12:06 PM / 2 months ago

EU anti-fraud office send Volkswagen probe findings to German prosecutors

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. flag flutters in the wind above a Volkswagen dealership in Carlsbad, California, U.S. May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European anti-fraud office investigating whether Volkswagen used EU funds and European Investment Bank (EIB) loans to develop devices that cheated emission tests has sent its judicial recommendations to German prosecutors.

VW was plunged into the biggest business crisis in its 80-year history when the cheating scandal was exposed in September 2015. It has cost the company more than $25 billion in fines, compensation and vehicle refits.

European anti-fraud office OLAF said it had investigated whether there was any link between funds VW received and the production of engines or devices that could be used to manipulate emission tests.

Volkswagen has denied misusing the funds and said they were used for their designated purpose.

“OLAF sent its final report and a judicial recommendation to the German national authorities, namely the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig, Germany, as well as an administrative recommendation to the European Investment Bank,” OLAF said.

It added it had recommended the EIB review the implementation of its anti-fraud policies. The bank was not available for immediate comment.

In May 2016 it announced that VW had repaid two 975-million-euro ($1.15 billion) loans ahead of schedule.

($1 = 0.8465 euros)

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Jason Neely

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