03/02/2009 at 04:00 PM EST
Former Dancing with the Stars
winner Helio Castroneves is now involved in something even more taxing than daily rehearsals: a six-week trial that began Monday in Miami and could bring him six years of prison time if he is convicted.
Castroneves, 33, faces charges
of conspiring to hide $5.5 million in income from the IRS in offshore accounts.
The Brazilian race car driver won the Indianapolis 500 in 2001 and 2002 but gained even greater prominence in 2007 when he and his dancing partner, Julianne Hough
, took top honors on the popular ABC dance competition show.
Castroneves, who lives in Coral Gables, Fla., has claimed he relied on the advise of experts to handle his finances. He also says that it was his father who controlled the Panamanian company – Seven Promotions – that is at the center of the prosecution’s case.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Donald Graham hopes to seat a 12-member jury, plus alternatives, by the end of day on Monday.