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FBI seizes records of business

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Federal agents have searched a Franklin business, collecting records from the local hydraulics manufacturer.

The FBI searched Complete Hydraulic Service & Sales, 130 Commerce Drive, on Thursday to seize financial records.

More than 10 customers of the business have filed complaints with the Franklin Police Department since September 2012 that they paid for equipment but never received it, Franklin Police Department Lt. Pete Ketchum said. Police turned over complaints to the FBI in January 2013 and continued receiving more until December, Ketchum said.

Last week, the business turned over the documents that FBI investigators requested, owner Randy Brown said. Brown said he was aware the FBI would be coming. The business, which makes hydraulic lifts to pick up motorcycles and vehicles, was open and operating Monday.

Neither the FBI nor the U.S. District Attorney’s Office would say why the company was being investigated.

Charges haven’t been filed against Brown, U.S. District Attorney’s Office spokesman Tim Horty said. Horty declined to comment on why records were being collected from the business.

“It’s an open investigation, and I can’t make any comments on investigations at this point,” Horty said.

Brown has hired Indianapolis attorney Jim Voyles to represent him. An employee in Voyles’ office said he does not comment on cases.

Brown also declined to discuss why the FBI was asking for business records.

“We’ve had some vindictive employees,” Brown said. “I don’t have a clue I’ve been guilty of anything.”

The company has recently struggled to pay annual taxes and repay debt, according to county court and tax records.

Brown currently owes more than $170,000 in unpaid property taxes on four properties in Franklin, located at 2490 N. Morton St. and 130, 150 and 191 Commerce Drive, which recently was destroyed in fire, Johnson County Treasurer Diane Edwards said. He owes delinquent taxes to the Indiana Department of Revenue but has paid $50,000 that was past due. And one year ago, the company faced a $1 million foreclosure judgment on two loans.

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