According to the Journal Star, Federal officials have executed search warrants at three Caterpillar, Inc. facilities in the Tri-County Area — including the corporate headquarters — Thursday morning. Company officials confirmed the presence in a statement without specifying which agency was performing the search or what the search was in regard to. A spokeswoman declined by email to provide further details.
Dow Jones adds that agents from the IRS, FDIC and Commerce Department are involved in the searches. They are probably not looking for CAT profits.
"Caterpillar is cooperating," the brief statement said.
The spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois confirmed that facilities in three communities were the subject of the activity — Peoria, East Peoria and Morton. At the Downtown Caterpillar global headquarters building, at least some company employees were directed to the building's cafeteria and were told to remain there and not leave, according to one employee at the facility.
At least some of the agents entering the headquarters building wore jackets bearing an Internal Revenue Service logo, others appeared to be from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Others simply denoted that they were federal agents. A placard in the window of one of the federal vehicles noted it was used by police from the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security Office of Export Enforcement.
CAT stock, which traditionally soars on bad news and reports of losses, is inexplicably sliding on the news.
Maybe investigators are trying to figure this out?
As a reminder, this is not the first time CAT has gotten in trouble with regulators: back in 2014 CAT and PWC got in trouble before Congress for evading taxes using offshore locations when this infamous line came up: "What the heck, we’ll all be retired when this audit comes up on audit." In retrospect, perhaps not all will be retired.