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Alanis Morissette’s Thieving Ex-Business Manager Sentenced to Prison
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Summary: Alanis Morissette’s ex-business manager has been sentenced to six years in prison.

It takes a lot of trust to allow a stranger to manage your hard-earned money. These business managers have all-access to your fortune, and that power in the wrong hands can lead to trouble. That happened to Alanis Morrisette with her former business manager, Jonathan Schwartz.

  
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For Morrisette, she hired Schwartz to handle her finances so that she could focus on being an artist. He managed her account for years, and in the span of seven, he stole $5 million from her, taking out cash to fund his lavish lifestyle and falsely labeling those withdrawals as “personal expenses.” Morisette said that the experience harmed her ability to trust.

Morisette was a Canadian child star whose career exploded when she released her American debut, Jagged Little Pill. That album sold 15 million copies, and she released several hit albums afterward and spent time touring.

Schwartz worked at GSO Business Management and was said to have once managed other artists such as Beyonce and Mariah Carey. During his trial, it was said that he appeared good at his job in the beginning, but over time, he kept Morissette in the dark as he started to steal to feed an alleged gambling addiction, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Schwartz’s former partner Bernard Gudvi condemned Schwartz to The Hollywood Reporter, saying that his action was akin to robbing a bank.

“It’s important for our industry to know you can’t take money out of people’s accounts,” said Gudvi.



Schwartz also stole millions from other accounts, and it has been reported that GSO has paid back those clients in full.

In January, Schwartz, who is represented by attorney Nathan Hochman, pled guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax return, and he requested one year of jail, followed by a year of house arrest and 2,000 hours of community service. This week, however, a California judge slapped the thief with six years in prison.

Schwartz wrote in open letter in The Hollywood Reporter before his sentencing, and he explained his gambling addiction and promised to make amends. In court, his lawyer Hochman asked the judge to consider how his addiction was the reason for his crime.

“A sentence of 12 months and a day of prison, 12 months home detention and 2,000 hours of community service coupled with a restitution of over $8.7 million — in addition to the punishments of losing one’s family, job, clients, assets, reputation, and professional license — will manifestly deter anyone thinking of committing Mr. Schwartz’s crimes that the ramifications of doing so are extremely dire. A lengthy prison sentence is not necessary to achieve this additional deterrence,” Hochman said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Renee Katzenstein, however, wasn’t buying the gambling addiction excuse. Katzenstein said that Schwartz was “sophisticated and highly intelligent” and there was no proof that he had ever spent the stolen money on gambling. According to The Hollywood Reporter, prosecutors said Schwartz spent money on keeping up a high-roller lifestyle, such as taking a $50,000 vacation. Morissette also said that she had the vibe Schwartz had wanted to steal from her since the beginning.

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee sentenced Schwartz to six years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. The three years will involve outpatient addiction treatment, drug testing, and therapy. Schwartz will also be required to pay $8.6 million in restitution.

Schwartz is scheduled to go into custody on July 11.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Photo courtesy of The Gazette Review 

What do you think about Schwartz’s sentence? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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