Caterpillar CEO apologizes to employees in email

Says company has "acted in good faith."

Caterpillar's CEO apologizes to employees, saying he is surprised by a federal raid at several of the manufacturing company's facilities in central Illinois. 

Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby issued a letter to the company's global workforce late Thursday.

"I'm sorry that we had to experience this today," he wrote. "We were surprised by today's actions primarily because we have been so cooperative with authorities in this investigation."

News of the raid broke Thursday morning, as dozens of federal vehicles arrived in front of three Caterpillar facilities: East Peoria, Morton and the company's headquarters in Peoria. A federal search warrant  reveals officials were looking for documents related to the financial reporting overseas. The document also connects the search to Caterpillar's Switzerland-based subsidiary CSARL, which sells replacement parts and established in 1999. It is believed the company moved $8 billion in profits to Switzerland in order to avoid $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes, which has raised concerns.   

"We have acted in good faith and as a good corporate citizen. That will not change," said Umpleby.

Federal agents were still working inside Caterpillar headquarters in downtown Peoria on Friday. Shortly after 6 a.m., several agents loaded large cases into SUVs, before leaving the facility. Other federal vehicles remained parked outside the building throughout the afternoon.

Umbleby says the company does not have enough information to understand the full intent of the raid, but he assures the company will continue to cooperate with the investigation. 

"We will continue to work toward a resolution of these matters, just as we did today," wrote Umpleby.
 

BELOW IS THE FULL STATEMENT:


"This morning, a number of our colleagues in the Peoria area were surprised when federal authorities arrived to execute a search warrant. I'm sorry that we had to experience this today.

"We believe today's actions, while related to export filings, are connected in part to a previous matter related to our Switzerland-based subsidiary, CSARL, that has been under review for more than three years. Because of the broad nature of today's warrant, we don't have enough information at this time to provide a full understanding of the authorities' intent.

"We were surprised by today's actions primarily because we have been so cooperative with the authorities in this investigation. We have acted in good faith and as a good corporate citizen. That will not change. We will continue to work toward a resolution of these matters, just as we did today. "


 


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