The Taxman is Coming for Larry McClure of Morgan-McClure Motorsports

Erin ConnollyCorrespondent INovember 1, 2008

Morgan-McClure Motorsports is one of the little guys in NASCAR. It can boast three Morgan-McClure drivers that have won the Daytona 500, including Sterlin Marlin in 1994 and 1995. However, Morgan-McClure Motorsports hit tough times, trying to keep up with multi-car organizations. Last season, with Ward Burton as their driver, they finished 47th in the points.   

With the lost of their top driver—Marlin—and their major sponsor, Kodak, Morgan-McClure Motorsports was forced to put the No. 4 Chevrolet in the garage and close its doors. In closing their door, 28 employees were laid off.  

Now, it seems, as Morgan-McClure Motorsports was struggling to stay alive, Larry McClure had a different addenda. On Tuesday, Oct. 28, the taxman caught up with McClure, as he was indicted on charges of federal tax law violations.

An Abingdon (Va) federal grand jury returned the indictment which charged McClure with filling a false tax return, obstruction of tax investigation, mail fraud, money laundering, and finally wire fraud. If convicted, McClure could be fined $2.75 million and possibly up to 115 years in prison.

The unreported income was allegedly a $325,000 payment from an unnamed individual for the use of race cars in the Automobile Racing Club of America series for 2002 through 2004. McClure made the statement that the $325,000 was a loan, which his wife paid back in 2006.

The IRS considers this statement to be false. Also it should be noted that McClure made this alleged “loan repayment” a week after IRS investigator contacted the unnamed person.  

Additionally, the indictment declares that McClure fraudulently claimed that between January 2003 and March 2003, he spent $59,852 on painting four show car trailers.

The president and co-owner of Morgan-McClure Motorsports, Tim Morgan defended McClure in an interview with Bob Pockrass and Kenny Bruce of the Associated Press “We don’t think Larry is guilty of what he’s been accused of. Certainly, I can assure you a lot of it is fluff. It’s hard for me to understand where it came from. Ultimately, I think he will be cleared”.

Morgan went on to state that if McClure was found guilty, Morgan-McClure Motorsports can operate without him.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.