Haas Arrested

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NASCAR team owner Gene Haas of the Haas-CNC team has been charged with orchestrating a tax fraud that cost the government nearly $20 million as well as intimidating witnesses and is being held without bail.

Haas is also the founder of Haas Automation and was arrested Monday on suspicion of conspiracy, filing false tax returns and witness intimidation.

Federal prosecutors say Haas orchestrated a plan to list $50 million in bogus expenses that it could write off as business costs. The aim was to save the company $20 million in taxes.

Haas owns the No. 66 Best Buy Chavrolet driven by Jeff Green on the NEXTEL Cup Series and the No. 00 Yellow Freight Transportation Chevrolet driven by Johnny Sauter on the Busch Series.

"We believe that Mr. Haas is innocent of any and all charges," Haas Automation general manager Robert Murray said in a statement. "These IRS issues revolve around the activities of a former Haas Automation employee, and we are certain that, in the days ahead, the charges against Mr. Haas will be determined completely unfounded.

"It is well known that Mr. Haas has paid millions of dollars in taxes over the past years. While these current circumstances are very frustrating for Mr. Haas, they will have no impact on the day-to-day or long-timer operations of Haas Automation Inc."

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