The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 22, 2009

Federal agencies raid Kuchera companies

300 employees processed, sent home

WINDBER — Three federal agencies on Thursday raided the business and home addresses of brothers and prominent area businessmen Bill and Ron Kuchera.

The Defense Criminal Investigative Service, or DCIS, led the raids that included the involvement of the IRS and FBI.

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said in a statement that the locations were searched as part of an ongoing investigation led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Buchanan did not cite a reason for the raids.

The raids took place at approximately 9 a.m., when about 20 agents from the FBI, IRS and DCIS converged on Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems, 345 Pomroys Drive. The companies are housed in the same building and are under the same ownership.

According to employees, the federal agents processed all 300 workers there, taking their names and copies of their drivers licenses as well as collecting their private phone numbers and the names of their supervisors.

The employees then were sent home for the day.

A state police vehicle and a federal law enforcement vehicle stood guard at the lane leading to the company’s offices for the rest of the day.

When reached Thursday, Ron Kuchera, chief financial officer, confirmed the raid but said he didn’t know the cause.

At about the same time, the homes of CEO Bill Kuchera and Ron Kuchera, in Croyle and Richland townships, respectively, were canvassed by federal agents. Bill Kuchera’s home shares an address with LBK Game Ranch, a private business that affords customers the chance to hunt big game for a fee.

None of the participating agencies would elaborate on the reason for the raids.

Bill Crowley, an FBI spokesman, said only that the agency was conducting an investigation in the Windber area on Thursday.

IRS spokesman David Stewart said his agency was directing all requests for information on this matter to DCIS.

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