Sunday, April 19, 2009

Race Car Driver Not Guilty of Tax Evasion

Discussed here are recent DOJ press releases related to tax charges and pleas - all immediately prior to the April 15th tax deadline. But the government was fortunate that this result occurred after the 15th -  Helio Castroneves was found not guilty of all six counts of tax evasion at his recent trial. See AP, Castroneves not guilty of tax evasion;Jay Weaver & David Ovalle, Miami Herald, Helio Castroneves found not guilty in tax-evasion trial

The government can use tax charges filed near the 15th to stimulate compliance with the law. It can serve as a general deterrence to future criminality. Having a "not guilty" of tax related offenses near this same time, certainly would not be beneficial to the government.  But Castroneves' jury result of "not guilty" was immediately after the 15th.

The jury did not reach a verdict on the conspiracy charge against Castroneves, but the conspiracy charge was premised on the tax evasion charge so it presents difficult issues for the prosecution if they do decide to try again. The conspiracy count was worded "to defraud the United States for the purpose of impeding, impairing, obstructing, and deteating the lawful government functions of the Internal Revenue Service of the United States Department of Treasury in the ascertainment, computation, assessment, and collection of United States income taxes." (See Indictment)  Hopefully prosecutors will not spend tax money trying to convince a jury that the inchoate crime of conspiracy does not require a completed act. Section 371 does require an overt act and the rejection of the substantive offenses sends a loud message to the government here.

(esp)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2009/04/race-car-driver-not-guilty-of-tax-evasion-.html

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Comments

Thanks for the information, nice article. thanks for share.

Posted by: Bali Driver | Apr 19, 2009 9:36:38 PM

The act requirement in 371 is any act in furtherance of the conspiracy, so the not guilty verdicts are no bar to a retrial. And the government should spend the money to retry him if he did, in fact, conspire with others to defraud the government. The rejection of the substantive offenses only sends a message that the prosecutor did not make the case to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt, not that the defendant was innocent.

Why don't you keep the editorializing to yourself, or at least don't write a final sentence that both displays your ignorance of the law and shows your bias.

Posted by: DOJ1 | Apr 21, 2009 5:29:26 AM

Just wanted to cross-reference a link to a post about a case before the Supreme Court - http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2009/03/supremes-to-hear-white-collar-case.html

Posted by: esp | Apr 22, 2009 5:42:13 AM

So the not guilty verdicts are no bar to a retrial. And the government should spend the money to retry him if he did, in fact, conspire with others to defraud the government.

Posted by: Car Shipping | Aug 11, 2009 5:16:49 PM

Interesting post with lots of facts and ideas that interest me and my friends.

Posted by: outdoor fabrics | Dec 23, 2009 1:00:59 AM

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There is some controversy about its use.

Posted by: Tow bars | Dec 31, 2009 1:02:22 AM

Tax Evasion is a serious Crime, even if your a famous race car driver

Posted by: Auto Transport | Apr 6, 2010 2:36:39 PM

Now, however, these are sometimes used as accessories to have a look off-road SUVs, trucks and even several cars.
There is some controversy about its use.

Posted by: reverse phone detective | Aug 18, 2010 6:32:43 AM

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