Gene Haas, founder and president of Haas Automation, was released from jail Friday after a bail hearing before Judge Patrick Walsh of the U. S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Haas Automation is the largest machine tool manufacturer in North America. Walsh agreed with Haas’s attorneys that Haas is not a flight risk, and ordered that he be released on $10 million bail. Haas also was ordered to surrender his passport and was told that he could not be in contact with any witnesses who may appear in his trial. However, he was not put under home confinement, and was provided full freedom to travel throughout the U.S. whether to visit Haas Automation facilities or to attend auto races in which his cars are entered.
No trial date has been set on the charges against him. Haas was arrested June 19 on charges of conspiracy, filing false tax returns and witness intimidation.
Kenneth M. Barish, attorney for Gene Haas, issued the following statement Friday regarding the court’s decision to grant Haas bail:
“We are pleased that Judge Walsh agreed with our position that there was no need to hold Gene Haas without bail. Mr. Haas is a well-respected member of the community whose company, Haas Automation, maintains strong roots in Southern California and employs more than 1000 people in the local community.
“The government’s assertion that Mr. Haas is a flight risk was based entirely on conjecture and hearsay. Mr. Haas has no prior record or criminal history and has never posed a threat, physical or otherwise, to any witnesses or the community-at-large. We know this is going to be a long fight but we feel that the government has been overzealous in pursuing this case.
“Mr. Haas looks forward to going home and going back to work running Haas Automation and his other businesses. But more than anything else he wants to prove that he is innocent.
“Mr. Haas received many letters of support from members of the community which were taken into consideration by the Judge and he wants to thank everyone who leant their support.”
Haas was not required to post cash bail. He will have to provide the court access to assets that will be used to guarantee his bail amount.