Castroneves acquitted in tax trial

Helio Castroneves has been acquitted of most charges in his tax evasion trial, allowing him to resume his IndyCar Series career with Penske

Castroneves acquitted in tax trial

The double Indianapolis 500 winner had been accused of failing declare several million dollars of income between 1999 and 2004, but his defence argued that he had not been due to receive the payments until later this year, and that he had allowed others to take charge of his financial arrangements.

The jury had deliberated on the seven charges for almost a week, and had to ask for clarification on several legal issues.

Yesterday they informed the judge that they had reached a verdict on two of the charges but remained hung on the others, with Judge Donald Graham urging them to find common ground as soon as possible.

This afternoon they returned not guilty verdicts in six of the seven charges, but remained hung on one count of conspiracy. Castroneves' sister Katiucia received an identical judgement, with the driver's attorney Alan Miller acquitted on all four charges facing him.

Castroneves has not raced since the IndyCar Series' non-championship event in Surfers Paradise last autumn, with Will Power taking his place in Penske's IndyCar line-up.

But the team has already indicated that Castroneves would immediately reclaim his Penske drive if he was declared not guilty.

He had originally hoped that he might be able to return to the IndyCar Series as soon as this weekend's Long Beach race, for which practice is already underway.

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