The FBI doesn’t raid automotive manufacturers that often. However, like any business, if you get funny with your money, the Fed will come calling before too long. FBI issues or not, Ducati has been a staple in the performance motorcycle world for a long time. Anyone who has a love for sportbikes has a place in their heart for Ducati.
Why did the FBI raid the Ducati?
According to the folks at RideApart, the FBI raided the Ducati North Amerca Headquarters on December 17, 2020. The raid was comprised of 30 agents armed with search warrants and pistols drawn. I know, right! What could Ducati have done to warrant this kind of reaction from the FBI? We still don’t know.
According to some reports, the agents vastly outnumbered the Ducati employees. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only a few employees were there, while everyone else worked remotely. The raid has been kept tightly under wraps seeing as how this happened nearly a month ago, and the reports just came out on January 7th. It seems as if the Bay Aera Riders Forum broke the story, later confirmed by another forum member who had just been fired by Ducati, according to RideApart.
The story gets further corroborated
RideApart goes on to say that Road Racing World also picked up the story and investigated further. FBI spokesperson Katherine Zackel told them, “I can confirm that FBI San Francisco was at that location on December 17, 2020, to conduct court-authorized law enforcement activity.” Thanks a lot, Katherine. Really informative stuff.
Zackel continues, “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.” Other publications have reached out and received the same statement.
The Director of Marketing at Ducati, Phil Read, made a statement as well, “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.” This was the same response given to every inquiry on the subject.
So, what did Ducati do?
We still don’t know, but Asphalt and Rubber claim to have sources that say the raid wasn’t only for the corporate offices but also certain high-level employees’ homes. This source also contradicts the claim that 30 agents were present at Ducati. This source claims far fewer agents were involved in the raid.
So many details are up in the air currently. Until more sources come out or the FBI makes an official statement that is more than “Yeah, we were there,” we are going to have to wait and see what Ducati or its personnel did to deserve such attention from the Man. I guess we’ll find out eventually.