Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' top North American sales executive, Reid Bigland, could face personal charges as part of the ongoing federal probe into whether the automaker fraudulently hyped its monthly sales, Bloomberg reported.
Bigland's signature appears on documents that contain some of the disputed figures, Bloomberg reported, and he regularly touted the company's streak of year-over-year monthly sales increases. Investigators want to determine whether the documents were falsified.
Nearly a year ago, the U.S. Justice Department enacted a policy requiring corporate cases to include a plan to charge individuals as well.
The 49-year-old Canadian executive has been FCA's head of U.S. sales since 2011 and is one of CEO Sergio Marchionne's most trusted lieutenants.
At issue is FCA's monthly reporting of U.S. sales, including sales that were later "unwound" by dealers, meaning the vehicles weren't actually sold. In July, federal investigators raided all nine FCA regional business centers and its headquarters as well as the homes of current and former employees. FCA says that it is cooperating with investigators, and on July 26 took the unusual step of restating its monthly sales since 2011.
As a result of the restatement, FCA's oft-touted six-plus year streak of year-over-year monthly sales gains was found to have actually ended in September 2013.
A federal grand jury in Detroit has been impaneled to investigate the issue and has issued subpoenas to dealers.
FCA declined to comment to Bloomberg about the report.