CHICAGO, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Federal agents searched three facilities of heavy machinery giant Caterpillar on Thursday, including the company's headquarter in Peoria, Illinois, according to an attorney office spokeswoman in Illinois.
Sharon Paul, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney Office for the Central District of Illinois, told Xinhua in a telephone interview that federal law enforcement officials conducted three searches in Caterpillar facilities located in Peoria and Morton, Illinois.
The officers involved in the activities were from Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division, Office of Export Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Caterpillar said it was "cooperating" with federal agencies' searches in the company's Peoria-area facilities, according to local reports.
A video posted by local media Peoria Journal Star on Thursday showed seven people wearing jackets marked "IRS Special Agent" or "Police Federal Agents" entering the Caterpillar headquarters, with several armed and others pulling large black roller bags.
The heavy machinery giant's overseas business practice and tax strategy have fallen into federal scrutiny in recent years. The IRS proposed about 1 billion U.S. dollars' penalties and tax in connection to Caterpillar's subsidiary based in Switzerland. A senate investigation found in 2014 that the company used its Swiss affiliate to avoid paying more than 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in tax.