Alanis Morissette’s ex-business manager, Jonathan Todd Schwartz, who stole more than $7 million from the singer and other clients, was sentenced on Wednesday to six years in federal prison. The Canadian artist said that she trusted Schwartz, but he secretly siphoned her accounts, stealing her earnings and dreams.
Morissette also told the court that the accused did this in a long, systematic, drawn-out and sinister manner and that she would have been bankrupted within three years if things continued.
Trying to excuse his behavior, the 47-years old business manager said that he was addicted to gambling, and that’s why he resorted to this illegal action.
Schwartz even wept and apologized at the hearing, adding that he takes full responsibility for what he did and that he’ll spend the rest of his life asking for forgiveness.
Prosecutors asked for just over five years in prison for Schwartz, but Judge Dolly Gee wanted to make an example out of him, and that he needs to “sheer audaciousness of this conduct.”
Gee added that Schwartz’s gambling addiction might explain the wire fraud and tax crimes, but there’s no excuse for what he did.
In addition to six years behind bars, the former business manager needs to pay $8.6 million in restitution.
Schwartz admitted to stealing nearly $5 million from Morissette between May 2010 and January 2014 and more than $2 million from five other clients in the time he worked at GSO Business Management, a group that represented names like Katy Perry, 50 Cent, and Tom Petty.
Although he earned more than $1.2 million a year being a partner at the firm, Schwartz couldn’t cope with his betting addiction.