Walled Lake restaurant owner indicted on tax fraud

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

A Walled Lake restaurant owner was indicted for tax fraud Tuesday, prosecutors said. 

Johni Semma, owner of Bayside Sports Bar & Grill and the Coliseum, an adult entertainment business, was charged with 24 counts of failing to account for and pay employment taxes and one count of not filing an income tax return, said Richard  Zuckerman, deputy assistant attorney general, of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

Johni Semma

According to the indictment, Semma was allegedly responsible for collecting and paying Bayside’s employment taxes. The indictment charges that from 2008 to 2015, Bayside accrued employment tax liabilities of more than $1 million and that Semma withheld those taxes from the pay of the restaurant’s employees.  Semma then allegedly failed to fully pay the Internal Revenue Service. 

In 2012, Semma also allegedly sold the Coliseum for more than $6 million with approximately $3.5 million of the purchase price paid during 2012.  He allegedly did not file a 2012 income tax return. 

If convicted, Semma faces up to five years in prison for each count of failure to pay in the issue of employment taxes.  He faces up to one year in prison for willful failure to file his income tax return.