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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 5

'Dancing' champ Helio Castroneves indicted for tax evasion and fraud


By Steve Rogers, 10/03/2008 

Imprisoned original Survivor winner Richard Hatch may soon have a new bunkmate.

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Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and former Dancing with the Stars champion Helio Castroneves was indicted on tax evasion and tax fraud charges on Thursday.

Castroneves, a Brazilian native who lives in Coral Gables, FL, is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States of income taxes and six counts of income tax evasion.

Each count carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.

According to the government's indictment, Castroneves allegedly fraudulently used an offshore corporation to avoid paying income taxes on $5 million worth of licensing income from Penske Racing Inc. -- the IndyCar racing team he drives for --  between 2000 and 2002.  Castroneves also allegedly failed to report $550,000 worth of sponsorship income from Coimex, a Brazilian import and export company, between 1999 and 2001.  In addition, he also allegedly filed six false federal income tax returns between 1999 and 2004.

Katiucia Castroneves, Castroneves' sister and business manager, was also indicted on all seven counts.  In addition, Alan R. Miller, Castroneves' attorney, was also indicted on three counts of tax evasion.

All three are scheduled to make court appearances on Friday, according to The Associated Press.

"Taxpayers, small and large, famous and not famous, should be aware of the enormously severe consequences they face if they fraudulently use offshore accounts to hide income, including potentially going to prison, paying back all their taxes plus interest and penalties, and being branded a felon for the rest of their lives," said Nathan J. Hochman, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Tax Division.

Castroneves won last fall's Dancing with the Stars edition with professional partner Julianne Hough.  Unlike most reality competitions, Dancing with the Stars' winners do not receive a cash prize.

Hatch, who won Survivor's first season in 2000, was convicted on tax evasion charges in January 2006.

Following an eight-day trial, a 12-person jury determined Hatch had "intentionally avoided" paying taxes on the $1,000,000 and Pontiac Aztec he had received as Survivor's winner; $28,000 of real estate rental income; and an additional $327,000 that he earned during a Boston radio show co-host stint that followed his Survivor win. 
 
He is currently serving a 51-month prison sentence and scheduled to be released in October 2009.



(Photo credit ABC)


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