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Walled Lake man who owned restaurant, strip club sentenced to 2 years for tax crimes

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Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 16:48:03-05

WALLED LAKE, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Walled Lake man who owned a restaurant and strip club was sentenced to two years in prison for tax crimes.

According to court statements and filings, Johni Semma defrauded the IRS of more than $1.7 million.

Semma owned Bayside Sports Bar & Grill and The Coliseum, and adult entertainment business.

Federal officials say Semma was responsible for collecting and paying to the IRS Bayside’s employment taxes. From the first quarter of 2008 through the first quarter of 2015, however, Semma filed only two employment tax returns with the IRS, despite being obligated to file 29 returns during this period. He also did not pay approximately $1.3 million in employment taxes that were due.

In 2012, Semma sold The Coliseum for approximately $5.9 million, but did not file an individual income tax return or pay taxes for that year. As a result, he caused an additional tax loss of approximately $463,000 to the IRS.

Semma pleaded guilty on Aug. 28, 2019, to one count of employment tax fraud and one count of failure to file his individual income tax return.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul D. Borman also ordered Semma to pay $1,793,771 in restitution to the IRS.