U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney's Office - Western District of Tennessee | 800 Federal Office Building, Memphis, TN 38103 | Ph: 901-544-4231, Fax: 901-544-4230, TTY: 901-544-3054 | PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: LEIGH ANN JORDON @ 901-544-4231

March 8th, 2007

Pilot Charged with Income Tax Evasion

Memphis, TN – David Kustoff, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced that Michael D. Mason, 50, of Cordova, Tennessee, was indicted on March 7, 2007 by a federal grand jury in Memphis. Mason, a pilot for Fed Ex, was charged with six counts of income tax evasion and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1.5 million, if convicted on all counts. Mason was arrested and had his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Allen today.

According to the indictment, Mason failed to file income tax returns for calendar years 2000 through 2004 as required by law. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Mason failed to pay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) income due and owing and concealed or attempted to conceal his true and correct income by filing a false Form W-4 for each year. Also, the indictment charges that in 2001, Mason created “nominee” bank accounts. Mason’s taxable income was over $1 million during these years, the indictment states.

Count Six of the Indictment alleges that Mason willfully attempted to evade the payment of his income taxes due and owing for 2000 through 2004, in the approximate amount of $229,064 by concealing from the IRS the nature and extent of his assets and location thereof, by creating a false lien against this residence, by using bank accounts in “nominee” names and the names of family members, and by preparing false documents.

This investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart J. Canale will represent the government.

# # # #

Note: An indictment is a form of accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.