Helio's Dance Around Taxes With Jury

The tax evasion case of race car driver Helio Castroneves is near its end and is in the hands of the jury

Helio Castroneves has done this dance before.

He's put on his best performance in defense against federal tax evasion charges, but now it's out of his hands and his fate lies in the hands of total strangers.

So in a sense, the drama mirrors that of "Dancing With The Stars" with one slight difference. If Castroneves loses, he'll probably be two-stepping with a cell mate in prison.

No pressure.

Closing arguments wrapped up Friday morning after a six-week trial. Castroneves, his sister-business manager and his lawyer are accused of conspiring to evade some $2.3 million in taxes between 1999 and 2004.

All three defendants face more than six years in prison if convicted. Castroneves is a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, but claimed true stardom after winning "Dancing With The Stars" in 2007.

Prosecutors say evidence clearly establishes their guilt. But defense lawyers say Castroneves paid all U.S. taxes he owed and focused on racing while professionals handled his finances.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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