FRANKFURT -- Two former Volkswagen management board members and two other managers were charged by German prosecutors for paying too much to labor representatives.
The men were charged with breach of trust for overpaying several members of the automaker's works council from May 2011 to May 2016, the prosecutor's office in Brunswick said. Brunswick is in VW's German home state. It didn't identify the men.
The alleged crime caused a loss of 5 million euros ($5.5 million), the office said in a statement.
As members of VW's personnel committee, the accused inflated salaries and bonuses of works council members by deliberately choosing a peer group that would ensure that works council members got higher salaries, the prosecutor's office said.
Such awards were to the "disadvantage" of the company, prosecutors said.
A spokesman for Volkswagen on Tuesday said that there had been no misconduct in relation to deciding appropriate salary levels for works council representatives.
Under Germany's two-tier board system, workers have seats on the company's board of directors, with broad powers to veto sweeping strategy decisions.
Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report