March 2 – UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: CAT has released the following statement:
“On March 2, 2017, law enforcement authorities entered three Peoria-area Caterpillar Inc. facilities, including the corporate headquarters, to execute a search and seizure warrant. The warrant is focused on the collection of documents and electronic information. Caterpillar is cooperating with law enforcement.
While the warrant is broadly drafted, we believe the execution of this search warrant is regarding, among other things, export filings that relate to the CSARL matter first disclosed in Caterpillar’s Form 10-K filed on February 17, 2015, and updated in Caterpillar’s most recent Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 15, 2017.”
2 p.m. update: Law enforcement has been ordered to seize any financial documents related to the Caterpillar’s Switzerland business, CSARL.
According to a warrant signed by a Central District of Illinois Judge, law enforcement was ordered to seize any documents “regarding the movement of any products between the United States and Switzerland and/or CSARL or any other foreign country.” The warrant also called for seizure of documents related to sales outside of the U.S., and any documents related to CSARL.
Law enforcement is searching the downtown Peoria AB building, the East Peoria AD building, and an office in Morton, IL.
The Peoria Journal Star reports this investigation “appears” to stem from revelations about the company’s tax strategy in a lawsuit filed in 2009. A CAT employee alleged the company sold and shipped spare parts globally from its warehouse in Morton while attributing more than $5 billion of those profits to a unit in Switzerland.
Original: Law enforcement officials are searching various Peoria-are Caterpillar facilities this morning.
Information is limited at this time, but CAT is acknowledging the presence of law enforcement.
“Law enforcement is present in various Peoria-area Caterpillar facilities executing a search warrant,” CAT U.S. Media Relations Manager Corrie Scott stated. “Caterpillar is cooperating.”
Sources say Internal Revenue Service special agents were seen entering the building and another law enforcement vehicle on scene belongs to the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security Office of Export Enforcement.
This story will be updated.