F.B.I. raids home of DC Solar CEO

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Kyle Larson drives during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Series South Point Hotel and Casino 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 14, 2018.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided the Martinez [California] home of Jeff and Paulette Carpoff, owners of DC Solar and the Martinez Clippers baseball club.

Armando Gomez, the Carpoff's lawyer, emailed a statement to the Gazette Thursday evening.

"The Carpoff family was surprised and disappointed with the actions taken by the government earlier this week, which appear to relate to an ongoing tax dispute," Gomez wrote. "They are long-time residents and supporters of the Martinez community who believe in our country and all that it stands for.

Witnesses said approximately 20 agents and officers broke through the front door of the Carpoffs' residence in the 5000 block of Stonehurst Drive early Tuesday. Vehicles and items from within the home were seized, witnesses said.

"The Stonehurst address was the subject warrants executed," Gina B. Swankie, FBI public affairs specialist, confirmed. "We cannot comment beyond the confirmation of activity at this time."

Swankie also confirmed a raid at the Benicia Industrial Park site where DC Solar is located. Witnesses said employees were escorted from its buildings, and business vehicles, additional personal cars and items from within the buildings were removed. DC Solar has remained closed since Tuesday.

Earlier this year, Chip Ganassi Racing announced Ross Chastain would drive its No. 42 Chevrolet full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with sponsorship from DC Solar.

Chip Ganassi Racing issued its own statement: "Although we have received little in the way of facts, we are aware of the situation with DC Solar and are monitoring it closely."

A review of court documents show the Carpoffs filed a petition in U.S. Tax Court in early 2017. The case has been continued through a series of filings and now shows a February 4, 2019, trial date. It is not known if this case is related to Tuesday's action by the FBI.

--- Martinez Gazette ---

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