Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Based in Part on NYT Article, Senators Request Information from AG Garland about Possible Political Intervention in Caterpillar Tax Investigation(s) (3/20/24)

In the past, I offered two blog entries on a tax and other agency investigation of Caterpillar’s use of a Swiss company transfer pricing diversion of U.S. income from the U.S. tax base. In reverse chronological order, they are:

  • Caterpillar Shareholder Suit For Fraudulent Disclosures from Tax Civil and Criminal Investigation Dismissed (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 9/28/18; 3/20/24), here;
  • The Whistleblower Behind Caterpillar Tax Commotion (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 6/2/17), here.
  • Search Warrant Executed Against Caterpillar HQ, Apparently Related to Tax (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 3/6/17; 3/20/24), here

There is current reporting that there may have been political influence that stopped the criminal investigation and ended in a quite favorable civil tax resolution. See Jesse Drucker, How Trump’s Justice Dept. Derailed an Investigation of a Major Company (NYT 3/9/24), here. Following that article, on March 13, Senators Wyden (D. Oregon) and Whitehouse (D. Rhode Island), who serve as Chairs of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Budget Committee, respectively, wrote a letter here to Attorney General Garland requesting information about the handling and conclusion of the investigation. The facts as alleged in Drucker’s article and in the Senators’ letter (as to which I cannot personally attest) raise issues that, at least facially, require investigation (or at least answers) regarding the handling of the Caterpillar investigation that seems to have been resolved very favorably to Caterpillar.

Note: The Senators' letter linked above as posted on the Senate website as of today asks for a return date for the requested answers of "no later than____." (Letter physical p. 6; the letter does not have pagination.) Perhaps, that means that the return date is to be negotiated.

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