Helio Castroneves, Julianne Hough

ABC/CAROL KAELSON

A chained-up Hélio Castroneves could barely two-step into federal court today.

After surrendering to federal authorities, the 33-year-old former Indy 500 champ and Dancing With the Stars winner was escorted by U.S. marshals into the Miami courtroom in handcuffs and leg irons.

Obviously shaken, Castroneves pleaded not guilty to seven charges of conspiracy and tax evasion. He was allowed to go free after posting $10 million bail and surrendering his passport, and plans on racing in Atlanta over the weekend.

"Hélio is a superb and accomplished professional racing driver. He is not a tax lawyer nor an accountant," Castronves lawyer Mark Seiden tells E! News, blaming the legal tango on bad bookkeeping.

 

"He relied upon competent professionals for tax advice and it's our position that he did nothing wrong and will be vindicated when this is concluded."

Castroneves, who lives in Coral Gables, was indicted Thursday along with his sister and manager, Katiucia Castroveves, 35, and his Ohio-based lawyer, Alan Miller, 71. The trio was accused of using Seven Promotions, a shell corporation based in Panama, to hide more than $5.5 million in income between 1999 and 2004.

According to prosecutors, Hélio claimed he earned only $200,000 in that period. The feds claim he made $2 million alone in sponsorship deals with a Brazilian import-export company.

"Using offshore corporations for the purpose of evading taxes is a crime," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "This case sends a clear message that the IRS is committed to vigorously enforcing the lax laws and stopping offshore tax evasion."

Kati Castroneves and Miller also turned themselves in Friday. All three faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Castroneves and partner Julianne Hough won the fifth season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars last November, sashaying their way by Melanie "Scary Spice" Brown and Marie Osmond.

He recently returned to Dancing as a special backstage correspondent for Entertainment Tonight.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.