October 06, 2008 11:00 AM by Paulene Hinds
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and TV “Dancing With The Stars” champion Helio Castroneves pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he used offshore accounts to evade U.S. taxes on more than $5 million in income.
He appeared in court in handcuffs and leg chains and was crying during the proceedings.Castroneves was released on 10 million dollars bail and was allowed to participate inthe Petit Le Mans Prototype 2 Class auto race Saturday at Georgia’s Road Atlanta in Braselton. He came in first.
He may miss a race later this month though,as it is in Australia and currently he is not allowed to leave the U.S.A. which is a condition of his bail. He had to surrender his passport.
One of Castroneves attorney’s, David Garvin, said he was disappointed that the tax dispute could not be resolved without criminal charges.
“Helio has always done the appropriate thing and hired accountants and attorneys he relied upon,” Garvin said. “We are of the strong belief that he did not do anything wrong. We’re looking forward to going to court.”
The driver’s sister, business manager and attorney were also indicted.
Castroneves, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has won the Indianapolis 500 twice and is currently second in the IndyCar Series points standings. He and partner Julianne Hough won the 2007 “Dancing With The Stars” reality show competition on ABC.
Castroneves recently signed on with “Entertainment Tonight” to be a correspondent for some episodes of this year’s “Dancing With The Stars” show.
Photo Credit: CBSnews.com