Ducati USA execs under FBI investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recently raided the North American headquarters of Italian motorcycle manufacturer, Ducati, last December 17, 2020. Though it happened almost a month ago, no news of the story broke out until recently.

The story was recounted through a local riders’ forum, until it was picked up by Roadracing World and eventually published last January 8.

According to the story, there were “more than 30 agents [that] took part in the raid at the company’s Mountain View, California offices.” The author of the forum post said that the agents were looking for some tax documents and other paperwork. Furthermore, “the employees who were onsite at the time are still pretty shaken up over this situation,” since guns were pointed at them from agents who were armed to the teeth.

There were only a handful of employees who had to experience the ordeal, as most personnel were working off-site due to the ongoing pandemic.

One of Ducati’s personnel, Shawn Keane, who posts as "elskipador" and is a Bay Area Riders Forum (BARF) moderator, has claimed to be on the scene when the FBI agents raided the office.

“I was there. Never been so scared in my life!” he wrote. He was asked about how many employees were at the location when the raid happened. “2 at the beginning, 3 at the end,” he replied. Asked why so many agents would be involved, Keane posted “Maybe huge tax fraud or embezzlement?”

The FBI confirmed that the raid did in fact happen but declined to provide further details as the investigation is still ongoing.

“I can confirm that FBI San Francisco was at that location on December 17, 2020, to conduct court-authorized law enforcement activity.  As of today’s date, no public records are available. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, I cannot comment further at this time,” said FBI spokesperson Katherine Zackel to Roadracing World.

Ducati also confirmed the raid.

“It is Ducati North America’s practice to cooperate fully with inquiries from government agencies. As part of that cooperation, Ducati North America does not comment on those inquiries,” said Phil Read, Ducati USA’s Marketing Director, in an e-mail to Roadracing World.

We’ll keep you posted as this story develops.

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