BERLIN (AP) -- Prosecutors have charged Porsche's former finance chief and two other employees of the German sports car maker with credit fraud over alleged misdemeanors during the company's failed attempt to take over Volkswagen AG in 2009.
Prosecutors in Stuttgart, where the company is based, didn't identify the three individuals who are alleged to have provided misleading financial information during the failed bid.
They also declined Tuesday to specify whether the three were still with the company, though they did say they worked in the finance department of Porsche Automobil Holding SE.
However, Anne Wehnert, the lawyer for Porsche's former chief financial officer, Holger Haerter, said he was one of the suspects and that he rejects the allegations "emphatically."
The charges center around the corporate battle in which Porsche built up a 51 percent stake in much larger Volkswagen. In doing so, it loaded itself with debt just as the global economy was entering its deepest recession since World War II following the 2008 financial crisis.
The battle cost Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and Haerter their jobs in mid-2009, and Volkswagen emerged on top — though its own plans for a merger with Porsche are currently stalled by legal issues.
The charges announced Tuesday relate to negotiations with banks regarding follow-on financing for a euro10 billion ($13.2 billion) credit line that was due for repayment in March 2009.
Prosecutors alleged that, in a written statement requested by one of the banks, the three suspects understated by some euro1.4 billion ($1.8 billion) Porsche's liquidity needs if it exercised all its options on VW shares.
They said in a statement that the suspects also failed to mention some 45 million put options that Porsche had sold in VW shares.
Lawyer Wehnert, however, said that all the information requested by the unnamed creditor was provided "in full." She added that the creditor itself has never alleged that it was given incomplete or wrong information.
Porsche spokesman Frank Gaube noted that the presumption of innocence applies to the suspects and said the company's business relationship with the bank in question remains intact.
Separately, prosecutors said that an investigation of former Porsche board members on suspicion of market manipulation and breach of trust won't be complete until at least the middle of this year.
They said that the investigation is proving to be "extremely complex and time-intensive."
Prosecutors didn't name the board members in question, but Porsche has said that both Wiedeking and Haerter were being investigated.