LOS ANGELES (CN) – The former CEO of Axium International, a leading Hollywood payroll services company until it collapsed in 2008, was arrested Monday on charges that he took millions of dollars from the company and hid it from the IRS.
John Visconti, 71, of Beverly Hills, was arrested by IRS agents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
A three-count federal indictment was unsealed Monday at a court hearing, and Visconti pleaded not guilty. His trial was set for July 29.
The indictment alleges that Visconti and “Co-conspirator No. 1” diverted about $8,000 in cash a week from Axium and split it 50-50.
Axium was one of the entertainment industry’s biggest payment processors, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, “at its height processing hundreds of millions of dollars in payroll for its clients.”
Axium collapsed in 2008 “after revelations that it owed tens of millions of dollars in payroll taxes, which led to Axium’s lender foreclosing on its bank accounts. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy case for Axium, filed in January 2008, remains an active case,” prosecutors said in the statement.
Visconti is charged with conspiracy, tax evasion and filing a false tax return. If convicted of all charges, he faces up to 13 years in prison.
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