WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Bruce Kevin Fleming, 67, of Milton, Delaware, was sentenced in federal court today to one year in federal prison for federal tax evasion. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Andrews pronounced the sentence.
According to court documents, Fleming, a well-known, freelance photographer, pled guilty on August 26, 2020. At the time of his plea, Fleming had not filed federal income tax returns or paid any such taxes since 1981. Fleming’s sentence includes $192,529 restitution to the IRS for income taxes due and owing from 2002 through 2016. Fleming was also ordered to make restitution to the IRS for $22,584 in payroll taxes which he withheld from his employees’ wages in 2016 and 2017 but never turned over to the IRS.
The Indictment covered the years 2012–2016. The prosecutor noted that Fleming had the money to pay his income taxes for those years, as his total net income was $393,000; however, Fleming lived beyond his means, spending a total of $75,000 in restaurants/bars and $2,350 monthly to rent a $800,000 house in Lewes, one block from the beach.
The prosecutor further said the criminal investigation was initiated only after Fleming ignored all of the IRS’s numerous letters and civil assessments.
Commenting on the sentence, U.S. Attorney Weiss noted, “The financial loss in tax cases is shared by every member of the tax-paying public. Our nation’s ability to operate and serve its citizenry depends on voluntary compliance with tax obligations. The defendant not only willfully evaded his personal income tax obligations, but he failed to pay over taxes withheld from his employees’ paychecks, demonstrating a complete disregard for their individual tax liabilities.”
“Today’s sentencing is the culmination of Mr. Fleming disregarding his tax responsibility for nearly two decades,” said Yury Kruty, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation. “Taxpayers want to know that everyone is doing their part and paying their fair share of taxes. IRS-CI will continue to vigorously investigate those individuals who knowingly and willfully evade their tax obligation.”
The case was prosecuted by AUSA Edmond Falgowski and investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigations.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-122.