May 22, 2009

Tax charge against Castroneves dropped

Federal government prosecutors have dropped the remaining tax charge against two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves.

He and his sister, Kati, had been charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government in a tax evasion case in April.

The Miami Herald reported that a federal jury remained deadlocked on the last of seven counts of tax evasion.

The pair was acquitted on April 17 on the other charges.

It's great news, and this month is getting better and better, Castroneves told the Indianapolis Star after a practice run for this year's 93rd Indy 500 on Sunday.

The Herald said prosecutors could have retried Castroneves but defense attorneys would have tied up any retrial with appeals, countering that such a prosecution would have amounted to double jeopardy because of the tax-evasion acquittals.

Thursday, he captured the pole position with a speed of 223.920 miles per hour (40.1929 seconds).