Law enforcement are searching Peoria-area Caterpillar facilities seeking any documents related to the company's business in Switzerland, 25 News has exclusively learned.
25 News obtained the search warrant that allows law enforcement to search Caterpillar's headquarters building in downtown Peoria, the Morton logistics center, and Caterpillar Building AD in East Peoria.
The warrant signed by Judge Harold J. Baker out of the Central District of Illinois in Urbana authorize law enforcement to seize any documents related to the movement of Caterpillar products between the U.S. and Switzerland, any documents related to sales outside the U.S., and a variety of documents related to Cat's Swiss subsidiary, CSARL.
A Senate hearing in 2014 investigated Caterpillar's alleged shifting of profits on foreign sales to CSARL. Media reports at the time said Caterpillar paid an effective tax rate of 4 to 6 percent on profits in Switzerland, versus 35 percent in the U.S. The Internal Revenue Service launched an investigation into the alleged practices.
Law360 reported that a Caterpillar shareholder filed suit against the company in 2016, alleging that the company was exposed to risk when Cat avoided $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes through the move.
The law enforcement agencies are also seeking information from computer equipment and other electronic devices.