NASCAR team owner indicted on tax charges The general manager of Abingdon-based Morgan-McClure Motorsports has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges relating to wire fraud, mail fraud and violations of federal tax law, the U.S. Attorney’s office said late Tuesday. Larry Allen McClure, who has been general manager of his family’s motorsports team for 25 years, faces a maximum penalty of 115 years in federal prison and up to $2.75 million in fines if convicted on three counts of mail fraud, three counts of filing a false tax return, two counts of obstructing a tax investigation, two counts of money laundering and one count of wire fraud. The indictment against McClure, also released Tuesday, accuses him of filing fraudulent income tax returns in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Internal Revenue Service investigators said the returns omitted several large payments from an unidentified Florida man who leased race cars from McClure to use in races conducted by the American Racing Club of America. The family-owned Morgan-McClure team won 14 Sprint Cup races and 13 pole positions over a couple decades relying on sponsorship from Kodak. That record included three victories in the famed Daytona 500.
But when Kodak discontinued its 18-year sponsorship at the end of the 2003 season, the Morgan-McClure team struggled for stability and success against the corporate-backed NASCAR mega-teams. In January, citing a lack of adequate sponsorship, McClure laid off 28 employees and halted operations. IRS investigators said in the indictment that in April 2006, the Florida man who leased cars from McClure was questioned and told investigators he needed to check his records to verify how much money was exchanged. The indictment also states that the man met with McClure soon after the interview and that in May 2006, McClure’s wife wrote the man a check for $325,000 with a “loan repayment” note written on the check. Then, in June 2006, the indictment states, McClure told investigators the money was payback for loans he’d received. “During that interview the defendant is charged with falsely stating to the investigators that he borrowed money from Person A three or four times while he was going through problems with Kodak ...” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia stated in a news release. The indictment also said that invoices faxed to McClure from out-of-state and stating he spent $59,852 to paint four show-car trailers were fraudulent. Bristol Herald Courier
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