2000 World Champ Sunny Garcia got the news from the judge yesterday, and it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. Garcia has known for a number of months now that he'd in all likelihood go to jail - up to three years — for tax evasion. The IRS claims he failed to pay taxes on more than $400,000 in prizemoney won from 1997 to 2001. In an interview in SURFING, Sunny acknowledged the oversight and said he'd been screwed by accountants who assured him it was all taken care of.

Due to Garcia's cooperation and acknowledgement of guilt, along with tons of letters of support, the judge went lightly on him yesterday and sentenced him to three months in a minimum security prison, seven months home detention, one year of probation and {{{80}}} hours of community service. One stipulation of this service is that he helps the Huntington Beach High School surf team.

After Garcia pleaded guilty earlier this summer, he feared a far worse sentence. Stay tuned for Garcia's reaction in the coming days. His sentence begins on Jan. 12, 2007.