Marshall County aircraft owner charged with tax evasion

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Robert Johnston

NASHVILLE - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to Wednesday’s indictment and arrest of Robert Johnston for tax evasion. Johnston, 72, surrendered to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office and was arraigned before Judge Forest Durard. Johnston was released after posting a $5,000 bond.

The Marshall County Grand Jury indicted Johnston on one felony count of use tax evasion when he registered his RV-9A airplane with the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

“The Department of Revenue promotes voluntary taxpayer compliance by educating taxpayers, aggressively pursuing criminal sanctions and demanding accountability when taxpayers engage in fraudulent activity,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “This indictment underscores the Department’s ongoing efforts to enforce Tennessee’s tax laws.”

If convicted, Johnston could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $3,000.

The Department is pursuing this criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney Robert Carter’s office. Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee’s revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws, as well as the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department collects about 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2016 fiscal year, it collected $13.5 billion in state taxes and fees, and more than $2.6 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the Department, visit