Frankfurt: Former Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler could become the first auto boss to stand trial in Germany over the “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal, four years and tens of billions of euros after parent company Volkswagen first admitted to the scheme.

Munich prosecutors said in a statement on Wednesday they had charged Stadler and three others with “fraud, falsifying certifications and illegal advertising,” lining them up for an as-yet unscheduled hearing before a specialist court for economic crimes.

The move places Stadler at the same stage of criminal proceedings as former VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who stepped down after the mass fraud affecting 11 million vehicles worldwide was uncovered in September 2015.

Winterkorn was in April charged with serious fraud, unfair competition and breach of trust by prosecutors in Brunswick.

It will now be up to judges in the two cities, close to Audi HQ in Ingolstadt and VW’s massive Wolfsburg factory, to decide when the executives’ cases are heard.