A Chrysler badge is pictured on a new car at a dealership in Vienna, Virginia April 26, 2012.

A Chrysler badge is pictured on a new car at a dealership in Vienna, Virginia April 26, 2012. (Reuters)

DOJ Investigating Fiat Chrysler Over Violating Securities Law

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The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV <FCAU.N> <FCHA.MI> for fraud, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

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Prosecutors are scrutinizing whether the carmaker violated U.S. securities laws, according to the report. The people declined to specify what conduct was being investigated, it said. (http://bloom.bg/2a68bpR)

Fiat Chrysler did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

While it was unclear what conduct was being investigated, the report follows a lawsuit that the owner of two Chicago-area dealerships filed in January, accusing the company of inflating sales.

The lawsuit alleged Fiat Chrysler had offered financial incentives to dealers to report unsold vehicles as sold and then reverse those sales the following month. (http://reut.rs/2a69qpa)

The company had said at the time that the claim was "without merit" and that it had confidence in the integrity of its dealer arrangements.

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(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)