Jury out in Castroneves' trial
|By Matt Beer||Friday, April 10th 2009, 22:09 GMT|
The jury in the Helio Castroneves tax evasion trial has begun deliberating its verdict at Miami Federal Court after hearing six weeks of evidence.
The Brazilian is accused of avoiding $2.3 million in taxes by concealing the money in a foreign bank account. His defence has argued that Castroneves is a victim of bad advice and has not wilfully committed any crime.
"He signed anything in front of him, including documents he shouldn't be signing," said his attorney David Garvin. "There is ignorance and mistakes at times. But there is no crime."
However prosecutor Jared Dwyer insists that Castroneves, who is standing trial alongside his sister Kati and his attorney Alan Miller, knowingly and deliberately concealed the income.
"These defendants attempted to skip out on taxes that all must pay, regardless of how rich, regardless of how famous," said Dwyer. "We have proved that beyond a reasonable doubt."
Castroneves could face a prison sentence if he is found guilty.
The double Indianapolis 500 winner has been replaced at Penske by Will Power while the trial is ongoing, but team boss Roger Penske has already announced that if he is found not guilty he can reclaim his car for the following IndyCar Series race.