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Castroneves' Lawyer: Money Move Was Legal

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4, 2009

(MIAMI) - The tax trial of Indy race car driver Helio Castroneves is in full swing in Miami, Florida.

Both sides of the argument made opening statements in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

The prosecution claims Attorney Alan Miller instructed Penske Racing to send $5 million dollars of Helio's earned income to Dutch entity Fintage Licensing instead of the Panamanian company seven promotions as originally set up in Helio's contract. The moved prevented Penske from being required to withhold 30-percent of the income for taxes.

Defense Attorney Roy Black countered by saying there was nothing criminal in the change because it set up an annuity for the then 23-year-old driver that would defer his liabilities until this May. Black says the deference was legal and becomes a moot point in 2 months.

The trial is expected to last for 6 weeks which will effect Helio's presence in the beginning of the new race season.

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