Helio Castroneves To Be Indicted On Tax Evasion Charges
First Published: October 2, 2008 8:01 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
MIAMI, Fla. -- Season 5 “Dancing With the Stars” winner Helio Castroneves is facing federal indictment charges in Miami, Florida.
Castroneves, a professional race car driver, is being indicted by a federal grand jury, Access Hollywood has learned.
Castroneves, who danced to victory in 2007 in the “DWTS” ballroom with professional partner Julianne Hough, will face a total of seven charges – one count of conspiracy and six counts of tax evasion.
The Sao Paolo-bred Brazilian’s sister, Katiucia Castroneves, who is Helio’s business manager, is also facing charges, as is his attorney, Alan Miller.
The charges stem from what authorities claim is failure to pay over $5 million in taxes.
In indictment information released on Thursday and obtained by Access Hollywood affiliate WTVJ in Miami, the driver is accused of having earned $600K for a deal with Coimex, a Brazilian import and export company, for which U.S. officials claim he only reported $50K on his income tax.
View the indictment HERE.
They also claim Helio, his sister and lawyer “engaged in a scheme to avoid paying taxes on $5,000,000,” stemming from a licensing agreement. The trio allegedly developed a “deferred royalty plan,” according to officials, which required Penske, the organization Helio races for, to send the money to an offshore company.
On Thursday, a rep for Penske confirmed to Access that Castroneves has been ordered to surrender in Miami on Friday, October 3, where he is expected to be arraigned. While a rep for Penske said the star had been notified by his attorney about the indictment, it was unclear if Castroneves would be in court on Friday.
A man who answered Castroneves’ cell phone on Thursday morning told Access that the star is currently at Le Mans. The Penske rep confirmed Castroneves is indeed practicing at Road Atlanta where the Petite Le Mans race (in which he is due to compete), will be held on Saturday.
Helio and Katiucia Castroneves face a maximum of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and five years in prison on each of the six tax evasion counts, for a total of 35 potential years. Alan Miller is only listed on 4 of the 7 charges and could face 20 years.
“Taxpayers, small and large, famous and not famous, should be aware of the enormously severe consequences they face if they fraudulently use offshore accounts to hide income, including potentially going to prison, paying back all their taxes plus interest and penalties, and being branded a felon for the rest of their lives,” Nathan J. Hochman, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division said in a statement.
Castroneves, who is known by racing fans as “Spider-Man” due to his penchant for climbing fences post-race to reach fans, previously won the Indy 500 in 2001 and 2002.
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