You can drive fast and climb fences, but you can’t escape the long arm of the law.
Helio Castroneves -- winner of both the Indianapolis 500 and reality TV show Dancing with the Stars -- will soon be doing the tango with the IRS over multimillion-dollar tax-evasion charges in Miami federal court, U.S. authorities said.$5 Meeellion? Wow, that'd buy a lot of dancing shoes. I don't know how this is going to go over with The Captain, though.
The famed Brazilian driver, who owns a Coral Gables mansion sporting his auto-racing trophies and two checkered flags from his Indy 500 victories, was indicted along with a relative and an Ohio attorney on Thursday, authorities said.
The 33-year-old Team Penske star is charged with failing to pay more than $5 million in taxes over a four-year period, authorities said. His sister, Kati Castroneves, and his lawyer, Allan Miller, are accused of assisting him in the alleged tax-evasion scheme.
(MORE from the Miami Herald)
"Helio, what's all this tax evasion nonsense about?"
"Roger, I have nothing smart to say."
Thanks to several readers for the alert.
The indictment alleged they used a Panamanian shell corporation to fraudulently conceal from the Internal Revenue Service income received from Penske Racing and another company. - ESPN.com
“We knew about it, obviously, in advance,” said Bud Denker, the executive vice president of Penske Racing. “As a result of that, we will get (the indictment), review it and move forward.
“Right now we’re business as usual.” - IndyStar.com
They are accused of trying to "conceal and disguise" Helio's income. One of the charges -- that Helio received $2 million in salary from a Brazilian trading company but made it appear that he only received $200,000.
The Conspiracy and Tax Evasion charges are each punishable by a maximum of 5 years in federal prison. - TMZ
And finally, brace yourself for this, from this FoxSports/AP.
The indictment charges that Castroneves illegally concealed income from Penske Racing Inc. and the Brazilian firm Coimex International S.A. Neither company is charged with any wrongdoing.Is it too early to say "Drivers, start your résumés"?
In Penske's case, prosecutors say Castroneves was to be paid $5 million in exchange for rights to use his name, likeness and image. The money was initially supposed to go to a Panamanian shell corporation, but then was diverted to a Dutch entity called Fintage Licensing.
Fintage was set up as a "deferred royalty plan" in which U.S. tax payments can be delayed, which is only legal if Castroneves had no relationship or control over it. Prosecutors say he did have control and that false statements were made to Penske about the relationship.
Coimex paid Castroneves $600,000 between 1999 through 2001 for sponsorship contracts, but he only paid taxes on about $50,000, prosecutors said.
Katuicia Castroneves transferred some of the hidden money to a Swiss bank account she controlled with her brother, court documents show.
Here is what the indictment looks like, courtesy of WTHR.