Thursday, March 20, 2014
From The New York Times:
Eric H. Holder Jr., the United States attorney general, talked in impassioned tones on Wednesday about Toyota’s behavior in hiding safety defects from the public, calling it “shameful” and a “blatant disregard” for the law. A $1.2 billion criminal penalty, the largest ever for a carmaker in the United States, was imposed.
. . .
Investigators discovered internal Toyota documents that acknowledged serious problems with its vehicles. They matched those documents with the company’s public statements, which played down the problems, according to one federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“That’s when we knew for sure that this was a criminal fraud case,” the official said. “That’s what you’d call a smoking gun.”