The manager of singer Alanis Morissette admitted Wednesday that he had stolen more than $6 million from the singer and mistakenly claimed that the money had been used to grow marijuana.
Jonathan Todd Schwartz pleaded guilty to embezzlement based on documents filed in the Los Angeles federal court.
Mr. Schwartz admitted that between May 2010 and January 2014 he withdrew about $6.3 million CDN from the singer’s account without her knowledge and had justified the withdrawals as “personal expenses.”
When Asked about the missing funds, he lied and claimed that the money had been used by the singer in illegal investments in a cannabis grow op.
Schwartz also admitted that he had misappropriated more than $2.2 million belonging to another undisclosed celebrity and a sports personality.
“Mr. Schwartz was hired to protect the money of his clients by managing it professionally but instead he appropriated millions in order to enrich himself personally,” said Deirdre Fike, assistant director in charge of the office Of the Federal Investigations (FBI) in Los Angeles.
The 42 year-old singer, who achieved worldwide fame in 1995 with her hit album ‘Jagged Little Pill,’ had filed a complaint against Mr. Schwartz in May.
Morissette, who lives in Los Angeles, said she refused a lucrative offer for five performances in Las Vegas after Mr. Schwartz convinced her that she did not need this money.
The musician, whose fortune is estimated by several media outlets at around $59.3 million, adds that she sacked Schwartz in March when he was unable to explain the state of her finances.
According to the management firm GSO Business Management, which employed Mr. Schwartz and also filed a complaint against him, claiming he spend $66,000 on a holiday in Bora Bora, Polynesia, and racked up a gambling debt of almost $100,000.
The ex-manager must appear at a hearing on February 1st where he will likely plead guilty to two criminal counts of electronic fraud and false tax returns.
Although he technically risks up to 23 years in prison, the agreement negotiated in recognition of his guilt establishes that a sentence of four to six years will be considered.