The Federal Bureau of Investigations confirmed to Roadracing World that Ducati North America's Mountain View, Calif., offices were raided on December 17. While the FBI would not comment as to the specific reason for the raid, a post from a local on the Bay Area Riders Forum as well as sources who spoke with Asphalt & Rubber said that agents were searching for financial documents.
Roughly 30 armed FBI agents conducted the search, per eyewitnesses who spoke to Roadracing World. Only two employees were on site at the start of the raid and three at the end, per Bay Area Riders Forum moderator Shawn Keane, who posts as elskipador. Local COVID-19 restrictions have kept most workers out of the office, but Keane posted that it was a harrowing experience for whose who were there, as he said that agents pointed pistols at his face. "Never been so scared in my life!” Keane posted of the raid.
While the FBI did not confirm they were at any other sites, unnamed sources who spoke with Asphalt & Rubber said that several high-level Ducati North America employees' homes were searched by FBI agents as well. Those same sources also said that it was related to a financial crime, however, the FBI has not confirmed this nor was The Drive able to find any potentially related cases in public federal court records.
The FBI released the same statement to both Roadracing World as well as Asphalt & Rubber, confirming when they were at Ducati North America's office, but declining to give a reason for the raid:
“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.”
“It is Ducati North America’s practice to cooperate fully with inquiries from government agencies," Ducati Marketing Director Phil Read told Roadracing World. "As part of that cooperation, Ducati North America does not comment on those inquiries.”
The Drive also reached out to a Ducati representative for comment, but have not heard back at the time of this writing.
If you have any additional information as to why the FBI is investigating Ducati North America, send us a note: firstname.lastname@example.org