Homeland Security Investigations reportedly visited a business associated with Josh Duggar.
HSI spokesperson Bryan Cox confirmed the news to NBC affiliate KNWA on Wednesday, saying that agents went to a business at the 14000-block of Wildcat Creek Road in Springdale, Ark., last week. However, he would not provide further details or confirm whether or not the building was “raided,” citing an “ongoing federal criminal investigation.” Cox added that information could change “if or when charges are filed.”
When asked if the scandal-plagued former 19 Kids and Counting star — who’s listed as the contact for a business at that address called Wholesale Motorcars, according to KNWA — is part of the investigation, Cox said, “I can’t speak to any individual that may be under investigation. So I can confirm that we were at that address. And spoke to individuals at that location. But I can’t discuss any individuals by name.”
Yahoo Entertainment has reached out to HSI for comment and will update this story with any updates.
Today’s news is different from what KNWA had reported on Tuesday. The original story stated that the Duggar family residence in nearby Tontitown, Ark., was raided by HSI. That led the family — whose lives (minus Josh) are chronicled on 19 and Counting spin-off Counting On — to issue a statement calling the report “fake news.”
“We were shocked to see a news report today state that our home was raided by federal law enforcement agencies. This is not true. To the best of our knowledge, it’s also not true that any member of our family is the target of any investigation of any kind. Living a life in the public’s eye has taught us that it is best not to reply to every rumor and piece of ‘fake news’ that is circulated online. It would be a full-time job if we attempted to do so. However, because of tonight’s media coverage we thought it is important to address this rumor with you. Thank you for the love and support that we can always count on in you our fans and friends.”
And Jedidiah (“Jed”), 20 — who recently launched a conservative political career, filing papers to run for state representative (like his dad Jim Bob, who served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002) — also issued a denial to KNWA, saying, “I don’t live there and I am not aware of any investigation.”
While it’s still uncertain if Josh is being investigated, rumors first surfaced that he was at the center of some type of raid on Monday. Radar Online reached out to the FBI about a tip, but that agency said it wasn’t involved, and we now know that it’s HSI that is running the investigation.
Josh, the 31-year-old former lobbyist, was behind the the family losing its original TLC series in 2015 when accusations surfaced that he had molested several underage girls more than a decade earlier. No charges were filed. That same year, Josh was named in the Ashley Madison leak and admitted to cheating on his wife.
According to KNWA, Josh was sued earlier this year for real estate fraud, and the three-day trial is scheduled to begin on April 27, 2020. It’s unclear if there is any type of connection, but HSI — a division of the Department of Homeland Security — investigates financial crimes and money laundering, as well as cyber-crimes, among other things.
The Duggars were initially introduced to America on the TLC show 17 Kids and Counting in 2008, and the show’s name changed as their family grew. The reality series depicted the family’s conservative values. TLC pulled the plug in 2015 as Josh’s troubles took over the news. However, a spin-off show, Counting On, debuted later that year, focusing on Josh’s siblings, many of whom now have families of their own, as well as family patriarch and matriarch Jim Bob and Michelle.
Yahoo Entertainment did not immediately hear back from TLC about whether or not this impacts production of the show.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle’s newsletter.