Hélio Castroneves Cleared of Tax Charges

By: Celebuzz / April 17, 2009

Indy 500 champ and Dancing With the Stars winner Helio Castroneves added another victory to his résumé today.

E! Online reports that Castroneves has been cleared of six counts of federal tax evasion after a six-week trial. A seventh charge, on conspiracy, resulted in a hung jury and prompted the judge to declare a mistrial on that count.

Castroneves was indicted earlier this year and charged with participating in a tax-dodging scheme that also allegedly involved Katiucia Castroneves, his sister an business manager, as well as sports attorney Alan Miller. The trio was accused of trying to conceal more than $55 million from the IRS between 1999 and 2004.

Miller and Katiucia also walked away without jail time, due to acquittals and a hung jury.

“I just want to thank God, and my fans, and all of the people who prayed for me,” the 33-year-old, who took top honors on Dancing With the Stars with partner Julianne Hough in 2007, told reporters outside the courtroom. “It has been a very difficult place to be in.”

As for his next move, the race-car driver plans to hook back up with the Penske racing team and participate in this weekend’s Log Beach Grand Prix.

“Instead of going to Disneyland, I want to go to Long Beach to race,” Castroneves cracked.