VW chrome emblems in factory bin

No one could ever accuse the auto industry of having a sturdy long-term memory. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen Group has just been named the most trustworthy company in the German DAX stock index. Sure, Max, that adorable talking Beetle seems like a stand-up guy and all, but it wasn't so long ago that VW ran into some serious legal trouble over its business dealings. Most notably, in 2008, Klaus Volkert, the former head of the company's works council, was sentenced to three years in prison for breach of trust. The courts found that Volkert had received close to $3 million in order to influence votes on significant company decisions. Nothing like good old fashioned bribery to get things done.

Bad? Sure, but it gets worse. Another executive, Klaus-Joachim Gebauer, was found guilty of 40 counts of breach of trust after organizing pleasure cruises for members of the works council. Aside from the usual wining and dining, the cruises featured a full stable of prostitutes with orders to treat the council members "generously." But hey, that was at least two years ago... right?

[Source: Automotive News | Image: Fabian Bimmer/AP]