Surfing champion Sunny Garcia was sentenced to three months in federal prison for failing to pay taxes on more than $417,000 in prize money.

Garcia, whose given name is Vincent Sennen Garcia, dropped out of high school in Oahu, Hawaiit to compete full-time in 1986. The six-time winner of surfing's Triple Crown retired last year, after winning more than $1 million in prize money during five years on the professional tour.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. Whelan gave Garcia until mid-January to report to prison to allow him to honor a commitment to a sponsor.

Whelan also ordered Garcia, to spend seven months in home confinement after his release and perform 80 hours of community service. The judge gave him six months to pay fees and penalties to the Internal Revenue Service, including three months after his release to reach an agreement with the IRS on how much he will pay in back taxes.

Garcia said he knowingly signed false returns because his focus was on surfing. The IRS had tried to get Garcia to pay his taxes for nearly a decade before the former surfer pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return in June.

Garcia told reporters outside the courthouse that he is considering a return to the pro circuit.


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