Castroneves asks judge to postpone March trial UPDATE A federal judge in Miami has rejected requests to delay the tax evasion trial of race car driver Helio Castroneves. Here are the documents Castroneves used to argue for the delay.
U.S. District Judge Donald Graham on Friday said the March 2 trial date will stand. Lawyers for Castroneves and Penske Racing Inc. had sought a delay until November to ensure he could drive in the 2009 IndyCar Series that runs April to October.
Castroneves is a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner who also won TV's "Dancing With The Stars" competition in 2007. Castroneves is charged with conspiracy and tax evasion involving about $5.5 million in income stashed in offshore accounts. He pleaded not guilty and is free on $10 million bond.
His sister and business manager as well as an attorney are also charged in the case.11/13/08 Helio Castroneves' attorneys and employer asked a judge to delay his March trial on tax evasion charges until next November so he can continue racing, according to court documents filed Thursday.
Penske Racing, Inc. said if the trial is held between March and October, it will have to change drivers now to avoid the risk that Castroneves will be unavailable for the 2009 IndyCar series, which runs from April to October.
Penske attorneys said Castroneves is under contract with them for 2009 and must be available exclusively for all races.
Castroneves' lawyer said it would be "catastrophic" for him to lose his job and that "a presumed innocent defendant should not face the prospect of losing his career based solely on the return of an indictment," according to court documents. Additionally, one of Castroneves' attorneys had a scheduling conflict in an unrelated case.
The U.S. Attorney's office did not immediately return messages left after business hours seeking comment on the motion for delay.
Castroneves, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner who also won the 2007 TV "Dancing with the Stars" competition, is charged with conspiracy and tax evasion. He's accused of dodging U.S. taxes on about $5.5 million in income using offshore accounts. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $10 million bail.
His sister and business manager, Katiucia, and attorney, Alan R. Miller, were also indicted. Both have pleaded not guilty. AP article
[Editor's Note: If the Attorney General's office is convinced he is guilty they can begin to put the screws to Helio and make him begin to pay now by denying the delay and thereby put him out of a job, the very job they claim he earned money from that taxes were not paid on.]