Los Angeles Business Journal

Payroll Executive Arrested in Tax Case

By Jonathan Polakoff Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The former chief executive of bankrupt Miracle Mile payroll services company Axium International has been arrested on charges of committing tax crimes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles announced Tuesday.

John Visconti is accused of taking millions of dollars of company funds for personal gain and not disclosing the income to the Internal Revenue Service. Visconti allegedly worked with a co-conspirator who was not named in the indictment.

Under Visconti, Axium was one of the film industry’s largest payroll service firms until it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008. The bankruptcy remains pending.

Among the allegations is a charge that Visconti and his co-conspirator took average weekly cash payments from Axium of $8,000 for a period of two years. They are also accused of forming a construction consulting company that billed Axium $570,000 for services and hid that they were profiting from the arrangement. Visconti is also accused of taking about half of an employee’s salary – about $82,000 – and sending the money to a bank account he controlled.

Visconti was arrested on Monday and charged with conspiracy, tax evasion and filing a false tax return. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $100,000 bond. Trial is scheduled for July 29 and he could face a 13 year prison sentence if convicted.