Feds raid Caterpillar headquarters in Peoria


John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune

Prairie grass grows in front of the Caterpillar Visitors Center on Jan. 31, 2017, in Peoria, Ill. The company has announced it will move its headquarters to the Chicago area, though many workers will remain in Peoria.

CHICAGO — Caterpillar’s corporate headquarters in the central Illinois city of Peoria and two other company locations were raided by federal law enforcement authorities Thursday.

“Caterpillar is cooperating,” company spokeswoman Corrie Heck Scott said in an email. She declined to comment further.

Law enforcement officials also executed search warrants at Caterpillar facilities in East Peoria and Morton, said Sharon Paul, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of Illinois.


Agencies present included the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Office of Export Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s Office of Inspector General, Paul said.

The Peoria Journal Star first reported the news Thursday.

According to the Commerce Department’s website, the Export Enforcement office focuses on “sensitive exports to hostile entities” and “prohibited foreign boycotts,” among other things.

Caterpillar has butted heads with the IRS before.

The company said in 2015 that the IRS had proposed tax increases and penalties of about $1 billion after examining returns from 2007 to 2009. It wanted to tax profits from Caterpillar’s parts subsidiary based in Switzerland, but the company maintained that it paid all the taxes it owed.

Separately, the company also said it received a grand jury subpoena in January 2015 requesting financial documents and information dealing with its U.S. and foreign subsidiaries.

John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune
The current the Caterpillar headquarters, 100 NE Adams St., photographed Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in Peoria, Ill.

The maker of mining and construction equipment announced in January that it plans to move its headquarters and 300 employees to the Chicago area, though it hasn’t yet named a location.


Though most of Caterpillar’s 12,000 jobs will remain in Peoria, the announcement was blow to the central Illinois town, which is entwined economically with the company.

Caterpillar’s shares fell by more 5 percent, to $92.99, in midday trading Thursday.


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