SAN DIEGO – June 6, 2006 – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – Kenneth J. Hines, Special Agent in Charge for the San Diego Field Office announced that Vincent Sennen Garcia, a professional surfer known internationally as “Sunny” Garcia, pled guilty today in federal court in San Diego to a felony count of making false statements on a federal tax return, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1). Garcia entered his plea before United States Magistrate Judge William McCurine, Jr., subject to final acceptance of the plea by United States District Court Judge Thomas J. Whelan, at time of sentence.
According to the signed plea agreement, on or about October 23, 2001, within the Southern District of California, Garcia willfully made and subscribed a false joint U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, for the calendar year 2000, which was signed under penalty of perjury. Garcia reported only $292,956.00 as his total income on line 22, whereas Garcia knew that he earned an additional $161,450.00 in prize money that he did not report to the Internal Revenue Service for year 2000. As a result of Garcia’s omitted additional prize money he earned from surf competitions, Garcia’s additional tax due and owing for year 2000 is estimated at $66,822.00.
According to the signed plea agreement, Garcia admitted that for tax years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001, he knowingly and willfully understated income he received as prize money and winnings from professional surf competitions that totaled approximately $57,000.00; $53,400.00; $68,335.00; $41,900.00; and $35,000.00, for the respective years. Garcia owed additional tax due and owing of approximately $13,628.00; $8,436.00; $2,208.00; $16,004.00; and $10,434.00, for the respective years.
Garcia was a professional surfer during the years 1996 through 2001, earning prize money and winnings from competitions at locations around the world, including Fiji, Australia, South Africa, France, Spain, Portugal, and Brazil. Garcia currently resides in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
“Today’s plea serves as a reminder to all individuals, including world famous professional sports figures, that income earned from all sources, whether earned domestically or overseas, should be accurately reported to the IRS. IRS Criminal Investigation will actively explore both domestic and international leads using our worldwide resources and aggressively investigate potential violations of criminal tax laws. The American public can feel confident that our tax system works,” said Kenneth J. Hines, Special Agent in Charge for the San Diego Field Office, IRS Criminal Investigation.
The sentencing date for Garcia is set for August 28, 2006 at 9:00AM before Judge
Thomas J. Whelan.
For more information regarding cases involving filing false and fraudulent returns, please visit www.IRS.Gov.