02/15/2020 -- Justice Department Investigates Praxis Heavy Industries

February 15th, 2020

KANSAS CITY — The United States Department of Justice has opened a major criminal investigation into Praxis Heavy Industries., the multi-national technology company currently contracted to build the California Safe Zone, government officials told the BBC Wednesday.

The Justice officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the department has formed a task force that includes attorneys from the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) of the Justice Department's criminal division in Kansas City and investigators from various U.S. Attorney's offices, including those in Detroit, Albany, and Augusta.

The details on the size and scale of the investigation have not been determined, the Justice officials said.

A Praxis Heavy Industries attorney said that the company will not speculate on the nature of the investigation at this time, save that Praxis Heavy Industries is cooperating with all international law.

One Justice Department official told the BBC, "The investigation is open." The official would not say when the investigation had started, only that it had begun before Wednesday and that the criminal investigation is under way.

White House Press Secretary Lisa Gilbrand, while refusing to discuss the specifics of any administration action, said, "The president has said that all agencies across the government that have legitimate reason to should look into this and appreciate the importance of Praxis Heavy Industries direct involvement with the reconstruction of the United States."

The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations plans to send out 51 subpoenas on Friday to all Praxis Heavy Industries board members and officials since January 2009. Praxis Heavy Industries-USA, Chief Operations Officer Yao Sze is among those subpoenaed.

The subcommittee is not slated to hold a hearing until late spring or early summer, a member of Chairman Levin's staff said.

Also on Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that she has the authority to freeze $1.1 billion in assets belonging to Praxis Heavy Industries executives pertaining to finances made through the California Safe Zone contract.

We will continue with more on this breaking news as it unfolds.

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