Thursday, October 2, 2008

Indy 500 champion Castroneves indicted on income tax fraud

Helio Castroneves, a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, was indicted by a grand jury today on charges of income tax fraud conspiracy and with six separate counts of income tax evasion for tax years 1999 through 2004, the Justice Department announced today.

The indictment said one way Castroneves-- a U.S. resident who achieved additional celebrity by winning the champion title in the 2007 season of the TV show, "Dancing with the Stars" -- had hidden income was by creating an offshore Panamanian shell corporation.

For details about the alleged income tax fraud scheme, see the Justice Department press release.

Lead defendant in $60 million tax fraud case sentenced to 18 years

A founder and executive director of the now-defunct Aegis Co., which marketed and sold sham domestic and foreign trust packages to hundreds of wealthy U.S. clients, was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

The company official, Michael A. Vallone, and five co-defendants were convicted in May of participating in a nearly decade-long scheme to divert income from businesses into sham trusts for clients, hiding hundreds of millions of dollars in income for those clients and resulting in a $60 million tax loss to the United States. The government said the case is one of the largest of its kind.