From NASCAR.COM – Haas indicted: tax fraud and witness intimidation – Jun 20, 2006


Oh!! My goodness! Will Jeff Green and Johnny Sauter be looking for new rides? Doesn’t look to me like there will be much money left for Mr. Haas to be playing with cars.
NASCAR.COM – Haas indicted: tax fraud and witness intimidation – Jun 20, 2006
Gene Haas was arrested Monday and charged with orchestrating a tax fraud that cost the government nearly $20 million as well as intimidating witnesses and a federal agent investigating the case, the New York Times reported in Tuesday’s editions.

Haas, 54, owns the No. 66 Nextel Cup car, driven by Jeff Green, and the No. 00 Busch Series car, driven by Johnny Sauter.

Haas, who made his Cup Series debut in 2002 with driver Jack Sprague, has made 127 starts in NASCAR’s premier series. The Cup team has six top-10 finishes, including a fourth at Richmond with Mike Bliss on Sept. 11, 2004.

Haas, the owner of Haas Automation and other companies, was accused in a 52-page indictment of running a bogus invoicing scheme to create fake deductions. Haas was ordered held without bail after his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Justice Department lawyers said they feared Haas might try to flee to China, where he has business interests.

Haas Automation, in a statement, said that Haas is not guilty and that the tax issues “revolve around” the company’s former chief financial officer, John Phillips. It said the indictment would have no effect on the business.

Last month, Haas Automation won, by default, a lawsuit filed in Ventura County Superior Court accusing Phillips of cheating the company out of $27.5 million.

The transactions described in that lawsuit are among those listed in the federal indictment, said company spokesman Peter Zierhut.

Phillips, identified only by his initials in the indictment, went to the FBI in April 2001 and told them that he had been ordered by Haas eight months earlier to cheat the government out of more than $8.9 million in taxes, the Justice Department said. Phillips is an unindicted co-conspirator.

The indictment identified Charles Todd of Minden, Nev., as the owner of a nonexistent company, Supermill, doing business as American Putter, that was paid $12 million for sham purchase orders and then funneled 98 percent of that back to Haas. Todd appeared in Federal District Court in Los Angeles on Monday and agreed to plead guilty to two tax evasion charges, the Justice Department said.

Another man, Kenneth Greene, also agreed Monday to plead guilty over his role in aiding the tax fraud.

Denis Dupuis, 51, a former general manager of Haas Automation, and Robert Cable, 73, a former salesman for the firm, were indicted, accused of helping fabricate the tax deductions. They were paid about 2 percent of the $23 million in face value of the sham invoices, the indictment said.

The other 98 percent of the money was funneled back to Haas, according to the indictment. It said Haas cheated the government out of $12.5 million on his personal tax returns and $7.7 million on Haas Automation’s returns in 2000 and 2001.

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4 Comments

  1. Well, Heck, Hendrick got away with it, why not Haas?

  2. Hendrick was pardoned by Clinton, I doubt if Haas will see the same “courtesy” extended to him.

    Let me think a hot second. A 20 mil tax fraud.

    20 mil (on average) for a single car team in Cup.

    Hmmmm… I wonder if there is a connection?

    As for Jeff Green and Johnny Sauter being rideless in ’07 I doubt if the effect will be felt that soon. The criminal justice system won’t work that fast.

    Of course there is a possibility that his assets might be seized by the IRS. All bets are of in that case.

  3. “Pardon” me Mr. Busch, Bill did it for Rick.

  4. too bad johnny cochrane’s dead. maybe william shatner can put on his denny crane make-up and take the case.


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