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OCTOBER 6, 2008

Indy 500 winner in chains

Helio Castroneves pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he used offshore companies to evade US taxes. The Brazilian appeared in court in handcuffs with his legs chained. He was released on bail of $10m. Castroneves was indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the government and six counts of tax evasion for failing to report the income from 1999 to 2004. Each count carries a maximum five-year prison sentence. Also facing charges are his sister Kati Castroneves, his former business manager, and Alan Miller, an attorney. Castroneves is allowed to travel within the United States but will probably have to miss the non-championship IndyCar Series event in Surfers Paradise, Australia at the end of the month.

Miller's attorney has accused the government of "pure harassment " in order to try to indict a famous person and get media coverage.