Singer Alanis Morrissette’s former manager is heading to federal prison after being found guilty of stealing millions of dollars from the singer.
Jonathan Todd Schwartz, Morrissette’s ex-manager, on Wednesday was handed a six-year prison sentence for embezzling millions from his roster of celebrity clients.
Schwartz admitted to stealing $5 million from the singer over a four-year period, and used the money to fund his lavish lifestyle, officials say.
Morrissette said Schwartz used her money to fund his gambling addiction. The theft, she says, was carried out in a “long, systemic, drawn-out and sinister manner.” If the scheme continued, it would have left her bankrupt within three years, Morrissette said.
In addition to the money he stole from Morrissette, Schwartz also embezzled $2 million from five unnamed clients while he worked for GSO Business Management between 2010 and 2014.
Schwartz lied when confronted about discrepancies in Morrissette’s accounts, stating that the funds were used to invest in an illegal marijuana growing operation.
The former CPA withdrew funds from the singer’s accounts and reported them as “sundry/personal expenses” to his employer. The bank statements were sent to GSO instead of the clients. GSO sent financial statements to clients based on Schwartz’s falsified information.
GSO cooperated with the IRS and the FBI investigation after learning of Schwartz’s scheme.
“At first, I ‘borrowed’ a little from clients, with hopes that I would pay them back if I won that night’s bet. That snowballed, and as I kept losing, I kept stealing,” said Schwartz. “I let everybody down, and for that I will spend the rest of my life asking for forgiveness and making amends to everyone I have hurt.”
Schwartz’s sentencing comes after his February guilty plea to charges of wire and tax fraud. Morrissette and Schwartz’s other clients have been reimbursed through insurance or by GSO directly.
Schwartz will be required to pay $8.6 million in restitution upon his release.