Racing star\'s trial begins

March 2, 2009
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Helio, what were you thinking? You are a high-profile guy thanks to your wins at the Indianapolis 500 and disco ball trophy from “Dancing with the Stars.” Did you think you and your attorney’s attempts at tax evasion wouldn’t get caught, or did you just not know you were doing anything wrong?

The tax trial of Helio Castroneves, his sister Katia, and his attorney Alan R. Miller begins today in Miami. They’re charged with conspiring to evade paying taxes on more than $5 million earned in racing and licensing agreement with the Penske Team over the course of five years.

This trial leaves me with a few more questions. Is there any chance Castroneves is going to get a fair and impartial jury? I’m sure there are people out there who don’t know who he is, but I think after his championship for dancing on TV, more people will know him. Plus, I think the general feeling by the public toward Castroneves is that he is likable and well-received. Will that taint any potential jurors’ ability to serve on his trial?

Could he have been in cahoots with his attorney for years or did his attorney truly believe they didn’t do anything wrong by having Penske pay Castroneves through a Dutch entity to allegedly avoid tax liability? I know attorneys are humans, but shouldn’t someone whose profession is to know the law also follow the law?

You can read more on the case in the Miami Herald.
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