February 07, 2009 02:00 PM by Paulene Hinds
Famous Indianapolis 500 champion race car driver and Dancing With The Stars winner, Helio Castroneves says he is innocent of federal tax evasion charges. He spoke to reporters after a court hearing on Thursday in which District Judge Donald Graham denied a motion by Helio Castroneves to dismiss a handful of the counts of the charges against him. The trial is set for March 2.
“They are trying to show something that doesn’t exist,” Helio Castroneves said after the hearing. “Kati and I are innocent,” he added. Helio Castroneves main defense is that he relied on the advice of lawyers and experts to handle his finances.
Helio Castroneves, his sister Katiucia “Kati” Castroneves and Michigan attorney Alan Miller are charged withhiding about $5.5 million in income from the Internal Revenue Service. Each of the seven counts in the indictment carries a potential 5-year prison sentence.
Another hearing is scheduled Monday by Helio Castroneves and his sister to dismiss three tax evasion counts because the six-year statute of limitations may have expired.
Helio Castroneves is currently being temporarily replaced on the race track by Australian driver Will Power. The new Indy Racing League season begins April 5.
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Photo by: Daily Life