Helio Castroneves: Dancing With the Taxman

Helio Castroneves can’t dance around the fact that he’s facing a whole lot of jail time.

People magazine reports that the 33-year-old Dancing With the Stars winner’s six-week tax-evasion trial began today in Miami, with jury selection.

The Brazilian race-car driver, who took top honors with partner Julianne Hough on DWTS in 2007, is accused of conspiring to hide $5.5 million in income from the IRS in offshore accounts. If convicted, Castroneves could be sentenced to six years in prison.

Coral Gables, Florida, resident Castroneves maintains that he’s the victim of bad advice from financial experts charged with handling his money. He also claims that it’s his father, not himself, who controlled Panamanian company Seven Promotions, which is at the center of the prosecution’s case.

Bummer. On the bright side, whatever legal fate awaits Castroneves, it will probably be less painful than the physical ailments plaguing the current crop of DWTS contestants.