The prosecution rests

Posted by Iannucci | 3/29/2009 | 15 comments »
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On Friday the prosecution concluded their case against Helio Castroneves, and after featuring witnesses who's testimony rendered certain members of the jury panel unconscious, they brought out the big gun: an I.R.S agent. Seriously, would you rather have an agent of the F.B.I. or the I.R.S. knocking on your door? Either way you're peeing your pants, right?

At any rate, the agent, Joann Levitt, said that Helio not only owes $2.3M in taxes, but that he had thousands of dollars in improperly claimed deductions as well as numerous sources of income that he failed to declare, like free clothes and airline tickets.

Which means if you won a hat or shirt in a recent VERSUS-related promotion at some other IndyCar blog, you had better declare that income, buddy.

This week the defense will begin their, uh, defense, which may involve a disproportionate number of character witnesses. As prep, take a moment to read Ryan McGee's outline of the defense's arguments (although I suspect most of you well-read folks already have seen the article). It presents an interesting timeline of events that occurred largely around the death of former CART standout Greg Moore, as well as explains with clarity how we got a Panamanian company and a Dutch company controlling funds for a Brazilian living in the USA.

Here's McGee discussing not just the case, but the possible impact on Team Penske.


  1. TJ Halsema // March 30, 2009 6:19 AM  

    Man, think about that impact on Nascar fellas. I mean could ESPN have at least hung a digital IRL banner behind the guy? The impact on the IRL would be a lot larger than the impact on Nascar

  2. pressdog // March 30, 2009 6:48 AM  

    At least Ryan McGee is getting MONSTER AIR out of this deal. Versus hat and jacket free swag, sure, $59,030 in fun-tastic silk suits, Hawaiian getaways for two etc., better declare it.

  3. mmack // March 30, 2009 8:20 AM  

    Which means if you won a hat or shirt in a recent VERSUS-related promotion at some other IndyCar blog, you had better declare that income, buddy.

    They can have my free Marlboro tickets for Chicagoland and my swag-bag o' goodies when they pry them from my cold, dead hands!

  4. AZZO45 // March 30, 2009 8:41 AM  

    Helio employes a TEAM of finance guys & he still ends up in court with P.O'd IRS agents!

    Am I the only one who thinks the federal tax codes are an overcomplicated joke??? Time for some major re-writes IMO.

    If a group of finance professionals can get it wrong (even missed the write offs on the airline tix & the free Hugo Boss clothing...) this just proves the US tax code has way too much GRAY!!!

  5. The American Mutt // March 30, 2009 8:48 AM  


    I agree. Daschles big "tax" scandle was his forgetting to state a limo service in his taxes. I mean WTF?

  6. AZZO45 // March 30, 2009 9:04 AM  

    Yes & his political rivals (some with even bigger tax issues of their own...) try to make him out to be a diabolical, anti- Americana, tax dodger!

    Leave it to our gov. to go after things like Hollywood gift bags @ awards shows, while they de-regulated Wall St (& allowed REAL tax money to escape)

  7. The American Mutt // March 30, 2009 10:57 AM  


    While I agree, it's probably best to curb this conversation.

    Anyone know officially who Scheckter is driving for?

  8. AZZO45 // March 30, 2009 11:05 AM  

    Yes, its a RACING site after all... but I could bring up Bush era, community college level prosecutors! :) :) in regards to the shaky Helio case.

    As for Tomas... I'm placing my bet on Team D&R. I guessed Vision (over HVM) for Hunter-Reay, so I might be riskin' my lil' streak! :) :) :)

  9. The American Mutt // March 30, 2009 11:34 AM  


    Again, you'll end up preachin' to the choir on that one...

    I figured he'd get signed to someone, and thought it'd be HVM. (RHR) I've been hoping Vision for a few weeks for a variety of reasons. It demonstrates to Izod TG's commitment to the series, and their brand, but as I've stated before--I think it'll really benefit their entire team. Much as I like AJ he's no road racer, and it's good to have one on hand. It might help Ed step up his game. At the very least it'll give Vision a better shot on those tracks.

    Between RLR dropping out (EFF you Dave, put some money into this team and put a car on the least at INDY), and Hunter at Vision, I've firmly decided they could/should end up the best of the rest. When I say that I'm counting NHL in as part of the soon to be renamed Big Four. They may not be championship contenders this year, but personally I think it's doable. I don't buy into this Dixon is the anointed one line of thought. Personally I don't think him and Dario are going to mesh well as teammates. I could however be incredibly wrong.

  10. AZZO45 // March 30, 2009 11:55 AM  

    Yes, I do wish Dave would have dumped some of his own $$$ into RLR (as Paul Newman did...) I know he loves racing & Mr Newman was unique in more ways than one, eh

    Perhaps if Dave had strapped into a race car his checkbook would have opened? I still am glad racing has a Late Night friend.

    Remember, Bryan Herta had helped AJ & Ed C. on the RC's last year (he was a driver coach after ALMS drive ended...)

  11. The American Mutt // March 30, 2009 1:48 PM  


    He helped, but he's not a full time driver. There's only so much information they can glean from what is, at best, a test driver. It was a step in the right direction, just as hiring RHR was a step in the right direction. Now if only someone would seat AJ full time, and Al v 3.0 would display some talent. Imagine, a field with a Foyt, Rahal, Andretti, and Unser.

    Speaking of which, what is Al 3 doing these days? Anyone know? I'm looking at you Jeff...

  12. AZZO45 // March 30, 2009 2:00 PM  

    Al Unser III was very average in the training ground series... Not deserving of a ride when PT & others are holding their helmets!

    Bryan was not a test driver & his expertise did not require him in a RC Dallara. Skip Barber (or any other racing school instructor) doesn't have to drive EVERY school car to provide feedback to students

  13. Iannucci // March 30, 2009 4:07 PM  

    Al the Third is, well, he's not here.

  14. Jeff-O // March 30, 2009 4:58 PM  

    Besides Indycar & Lights already have enough underperforming 3rd generation , famous named drivers right?

    (Hello, Marco A. & Arie Jr.) OUCH!

  15. The American Mutt // March 30, 2009 6:21 PM  

    I wouldn't say Marco is underperforming. He was knocking on the door at several races, Indy included. AGR in general is underperforming. I don't know. I tend to think people overlook the fact that Marcos 22, and most succesful drivers in Indycar usually spend more time in the feeder series. How old were Helio, Tony, Dario, Dixon, and Wheldon when they moved over to the big cars?

    I also wonder what would have happened at Indy had Helio not thrown major block parties on Marco in the closing laps.;