The Associated Press reports that the jury in the tax evasion case of IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves says it has reached verdicts on two counts but is deadlocked on five others.
Federal Judge Donald Graham said he would not immediately read the verdicts on two tax evasion counts against Castroneves and told jurors to continue deliberating on four other tax evasion counts and one conspiracy count. The jury ended its fifth day of deliberations without reaching any further decisions. Deliberations are expected to resume Friday.
Castroneves' attorney Allen Miller and sister Katiucia Castroneves, who is his business manager, are also on trial. According to the AP, the jury has reached verdicts on the four charges against Miller, but on only one of seven counts against Kati Castroneves.
-----------------------------------------------Wednesday, April 15
The jury in the Helio Castroneves tax evasion trial went home on Tuesday having failed to reach a verdict. On Wednesday it was a similar story. What did happen today, however, was that the attorneys for Castroneves lost their motion for a mistrial, but got U.S. District Judge Donald Graham to amend the instructions he gave the jury yesterday.
Tuesday had seen attorneys for the prosecution and defense agreeing on answers to questions asked by the jurors regarding constructive receipt, deferred money and binding contracts. U.S. District Judge Donald Graham then gave the jury a verbal and written explanation, which they studied before leaving for home at 4 p.m. ET.
Reconvening at 8 a.m. ET Wednesday, the defense attorneys David Garvin and Roy Black were denied their call for a mis-trial for what they felt were redefinitions of key legal terms. However, Judge Graham did clarify the terminology of his previous day's explanation.
Castroneves is accused of conspiring with his sister Kati and agent Alan Miller, of trying to hide $5m, while his defense claims that he was deferring the money into an annuity, which he was due to receive next month, and then pay taxes on it.
The two-time Indy 500 winner, who was due to enter his 10th season with Penske Racing in 2009, would have been competing in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend, but his last race was the non-championship IndyCar Series race at Surfers Paradise in October. His No. 3 car is currently being raced by Will Power, who qualified and finished sixth in the opening round of the season in St. Petersburg.
However, last weekend team owner Roger Penske declared he would run a car for Castroneves at Long Beach should the Brazilian be cleared, but the longer the jury takes to reach a verdict, the less feasible this appears to be.