Former grocery store magnate Deon Dove, scheduled for sentencing Friday on eight tax-related counts, will have to wait until Aug. 13 before he knows whether he'll be going to prison.
Fourth District Judge Boyd L. Park delayed sentencing at the request of defense attorney Kent Willes. Willes, apparently unhappy with the recommendations of a presentence report prepared by Adult Probation and Parole, asked Park to grant the defendant a sentencing hearing prior to issuing judgment."I want it heard as quickly as possible," Park told Willes.
Last month Dove entered guilty pleas to five second-degree felonies and three third-degree felonies in connection with allegations that he bilked the state out of more than $5 million in sales tax. He faces prison sentences of up to 15 years on the second-degree felonies and up to five years on the third-degree felonies, in addition to substantial fines.
Dove, owner of the bankrupt Dove's Happy Service Markets, entered the pleas in exchange for the dropping of an additional 48 counts against him. According to the Utah Tax Commission, back taxes, penalty and interest in the case total $7.6 million.
Dove filed for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy in 1987 but continued running seven stores in an effort to make enough money to pay off creditors. Last year, he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a liquidation process to raise money for creditors.