Tax Evasion Trial for Dancing's Castroneves Begins
Jury selection has begun in the tax evasion trial of Dancing with the Stars champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves.
Five men and seven women were chosen to hear the case Monday, according to The Associated Press.
Prosecutors say Castronvees, his business manager and a Michigan attorney conspired to hide about $5.5 million from the IRS in offshore accounts. Castroneves maintains that he relied on experts to advise him in his financial matters, and that the key to the prosecution's case — income related to a Panamanian entity called Seven Promotions — is not his tax liability.
Castroneves argues that Seven Promotions is owned by Castroneves' father — who financed and promoted his son's career — and should not be counted as Castroneves' income. Castroneves also denies "willfully" evading taxes and taking improper deductions.
If convicted of conspiracy and tax evasion, Castroneves could face more than six years in prison.
Castroneves won the Indy 500 in 2001 and 2002, and was named Dancing with the Stars Season 5 champion with partner Julianne Hough in 2007.