Sentencing for area photographer Kevin Fleming has been postponed indefinitely.
Fleming, of Lewes, was ordered to file a status report on March 15 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The sentencing hearing that was scheduled for January has been postponed indefinitely, according to U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Andrews.
Fleming entered a plea agreement Aug. 26, agreeing to plead guilty to one count of tax evasion in return for dismissal of the remaining 15 counts of felony tax charges he was facing.
Under the plea agreement for the tax-evasion count, Fleming could be sentenced to five years in prison and fined $250,000 – the final amount to be determined by Andrews.
Fleming was indicted in November 2019 on 16 counts of felony tax charges. The indictment filed in U.S. District Court states Fleming willfully attempted to evade and defeat federal income tax by diverting funds from his corporate Portfolio Books Inc. account to pay for personal expenses from 2012 to 2016. During an interview with a special agent of the Internal Revenue Service, the indictment states, Fleming told the agent he set up the corporation, but Fleming falsely told the agent that the corporation was not a real entity because it had no employees, assets or bank accounts. Fleming faces five counts of tax evasion in connection with diverting funds from his corporations to pay for personal expenses.
According to court records, Fleming did not file a federal tax return for his gross income from 2013 to 2016. He also deducted federal income tax and Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes – known as FICA taxes – from his employees' paychecks, but he kept the money instead of sending it to the IRS. In 2016 and 2017, he failed to pay quarterly taxes totaling $22,584.
Before his plea agreement, Fleming faced four counts of failure to file a federal tax return, seven counts of failure to pay federal employee taxes, and five counts of tax evasion – totaling at least 80 years in prison and at least $4 million in fines.
The plea agreement requires Fleming to file proper tax returns for 2012 to 2016, cooperate with any civil tax audit, and pay back taxes with any interest and penalties.
Failure to provide complete, accurate and timely information would void Fleming's plea agreement and could result in obstruction of justice charges that would increase his sentence, the plea agreement states. If that happens, the plea agreement could also be completely voided.