Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) ‘s chief executive has apologized to the company’s employees and promised to continue cooperating and working with federal authorities after agents stormed three of Caterpillar’s  located in Illinois including the company’s headquarters on Thursday.

The company’s CEO Jim Umpleby expressed shock and said they were perplexed by the actions. He said they have been fully cooperative with the authorities throughout the investigations.   In an internal memo to the company’s employees, Umpleby said they are committed to bringing the matter to a conclusive resolution by fully cooperating with the authorities.

“We were surprised by today’s actions primarily because we have been so cooperative with the authorities in this investigation,” CEO Jim Umpleby

Mr. Umpleby who was appointed the company’s CEO early this year, tendered an apology to the heavy-machinery giant’s employees most of which witnessed the agents executing a search warrant at the premises of the company. He called Caterpillar are reputable and honorable company.

Agents drawn from the Internal Revenue Service and a number of other federal agencies stormed the heavy-machinery company’s offices on Thursday in search of crucial documents and several other undisclosed materials.

The CEO said the search could be partly related to previous a matter involving the company’s subsidiary in Switzerland that has been under review for over three years. He added that the management cannot give a detail understanding of the reasons behind the search owing to the broad nature of the warrant.


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In 2014, the company’s representatives testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee about a tax strategy that profits to the company’s Switzerland subsidiary. In the findings by the subcommittee Caterpillar was found guilty of shifting profits from the United States to Switzerland.

Caterpillar is battling an IRS demand to pay a total of $2 billion in penalties and taxes for shifting profits to its Switzerland-based branch called Caterpillar SARL.  Officials from Caterpillar said the agents were looking for electronic information and documents while executing the search warrant. The raid was executed by the office of the inspector general in charge of Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, Internal Revenue Service criminal investigations unit and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security Office of Export Enforcement.