Ex-NASCAR champion sentenced to 18 months

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The owners of a car wash service have been sentenced for conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service.

Former NASCAR champion Tommy Ellis, 63, received an 18-month sentence Friday in federal court in Richmond. His wife, 59-year-old Brenda Ellis, was sentenced to a year in prison.

The Richmond couple pleaded guilty to the charges in May. Tommy Ellis won the 1988 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship.

U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride says the couple conspired to defraud the IRS of more than $133,000 in tax revenue from their business from 2003 to 2007.

MacBride says the Ellises recorded the true income and expenses of their business, Buzz Thru Car Washes, in one set of books. Lower amounts were recorded in a second set. The lower amounts were reported on income tax returns.