As the new administration continues to debate whether to adopt Bush's Panama trade deal as their own, the evidence of Panama's tax-evasion industry keep piling in, this time from a race-car champ, according to the Miami Herald:
The 12-member jury is deciding whether the Brazilian race car star is guilty of conspiring with others to avoid paying U.S. taxes on $5.5 million.
Castroneves, a U.S. resident who has lived in Miami since 1997, received $530,000 from a Brazilian trading company that sponsored him just before he hit the big time a decade ago as an IndyCar driver with Penske Racing. The racer, who owns a Coral Gables mansion, also received $5 million from a 1999 licensing deal with Penske.
So far, Castroneves has paid taxes on only $50,000 of his total earnings from the Brazilian sponsor, Coimex Internacional -- income that he diverted to his Panamanian shell company's bank account in New York and then to a Swiss bank with the help of his sister, according to prosecutors and court records.
That would mean Castroneves allegedly avoided paying taxes on $480,000 from Coimex in addition to the $5 million from Penske. Bottom line: He owes $2.3 million to the Internal Revenue Service, prosecutors say.
(HT to Oregon Fair Trade Coalition!)