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Helio Castroneves Acquitted in Tax case: Heading back to Race Track?

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By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on April 17, 2009 3:59 PM

Fans of racing and/or "Dancing With The Stars" may be happy to hear that a champion in both arenas, Helio Castroneves, was acquitted in his criminal tax evasion case today.

The jury did hang on one count of conspiracy, but Castroneves was acquitted on the rest (6) of the charges of tax evasion. This is great news for Castroneves racing fans as he had been "temporarily replaced on Team Penske by Australian Will Power pending the outcome of the case." The result opens the door for him to get back on the track and, in the words of his lawyer, do what is all he does, drive.

While prosecutors argued that Castroneves and his co-conspirators had set up a shell corporation designed as a tax shortcut, Castroneves' lawyer retorted:

"Does anybody really think Helio Castroneves really made a financial decision. All he did was drive - and drive he did," Black said.

And that, indeed, may well be where he's headed back now, literally. As noted by the L.A. Times, "Penske, owned by billionaire Roger Penske, promptly dispatched one of its Detroit-based jets to pick up Castroneves, 33, and fly him to Long Beach" to drive in Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Rival teams might just be wishing that the jury had taken the weekend to deliberate a bit more...

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