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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Texas

Friday, December 12, 2014

Henderson County Man Guilty of Federal Income Tax Violations

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

   TYLER, Texas – Joseph A. Masso, a 64-year-old resident of Athens, Texas, pleaded guilty to federal income tax violations, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

            Masso was charged with making and subscribing to a false tax return for the calendar year 2011 in violation of 26 U.S.C. ' 7206(1).  According to information presented in Court, Masso formed a Texas limited liability company known as Lone Star Western & Casual LLC in December 2007.  Lone Store operated retail clothing stores in Athens, Corsicana, and Waxahachie, Texas.  For tax years 2009-2011, Masso falsely understated the gross receipts for these businesses on his IRS Form 1040 Schedule C by more than $5 million.   As a result, he falsely understated his tax liability for the three tax years by approximately $950,000.

            At sentencing, Masso faces imprisonment for up to three years.  Masso has already agreed to pay restitution in excess of $900,000 to the IRS as well as a civil fraud penalty of more than $450,000.

            In a related civil action, Masso agreed to forfeit $800,000 to the United States.  The funds were originally seized during the execution of federal seizure warrants.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Coan.

Updated March 17, 2015