Sunday, October 5, 2008
Helio Castroneves plea....week 5
Former "Dancing with the Stars" winner and Indianapolis 500 champ pleaded not guilty to tax fraud this past Friday. He was indicted on charges of conspiracy and six counts of tax evasion for purportedly failing to report to the IRS about $5.5 million in income between 1999 and 2004 (CNN news). However, he was out on a $10 million bail. How crazy is that? Since I am a huge IndyCar fan and Dancing with Stars fan, I have followed Helio for a while, not stalkerish or anything though. Anyway, when I heard this news I was fairly shocked because this didn't seem like something he would do. Also CNN reported that he was shackled in handcuffs and leg chains and was weeping. I can't believe it was that bad and was all that really necessary? However, a $10 million bail is quite a bit of money. Nonetheless, his accountants could be the ones to blame because he swears by it that he would never do anything like this. However, this does create a bit of bad PR for him as well. I don't think though that it will have much effect on his reputation because Helio has consistently had great PR and publicity after winning several IndyCar races and being on Dancing with the Stars. Roger Penske, Helio's boss in the IndyCar world is probably having a fit though because if Helio doesn't fix this problem fast he could potentially be booted from the team. Whatever happens I don't think Helio will loose too many fans over this.