Morissette Former Money Manager Sentenced
Business manager Jonathan Todd Schwartz was sentenced to six years in federal prison for embezzling more than $7 million from Alanis Morissette and other clients while working at GSO Business Management, a firm that had relationships with artists including Katy Perry, 50 Cent and Tom Petty.
Chris Pizzello/AP – Jonathan Todd Schwartz
Right, former business manager for singer Alanis Morissette, looks on as his attorney Nathan Hoffman addresses reporters outside U.S. federal court following sentencing in his embezzlement case, in Los Angeles.
“I will spend the rest of my life asking for forgiveness,” Schwartz said at a May 3 court hearing in Los Angeles, where he sought less than a year in prison, according to the Associated Press.
He admitted to stealing nearly $5 million from Morissette between May 2010 and January 2014 and more than $2 million from five unnamed others while working at GSO Business Management. He said he took full responsibility for what he called his “stupid” behavior and blamed a gambling addiction that led to a constant cycle of embezzling more to make up for bad bets.
“He did this in a long, systematic, drawn-out and sinister manner,” Morissette said, adding it would have bankrupted her in three years if the thefts continued. Prosecutors sought just over five years in prison, but U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee said she thought Schwartz deserved more time for the “sheer audaciousness of this conduct.” Schwartz was a high-flying partner making $1.2 million a year, according to court papers.
The thefts struck a blow to the firm’s reputation, led to nearly a dozen layoffs and are expected to cost $20 million, according to founder Bernard Gudvi.
The embezzlement was discovered by a new business manager Morissette hired after she couldn’t get answers from Schwartz about her investments. When GSO was contacted about the apparent theft, Schwartz made “wild accusations” that Morissette was a drug addict and mentally unstable, Gudvi said. Schwartz also falsely claimed Morissette had invested the money in an illegal marijuana growing business.
The thefts financed “a lavish and luxurious lifestyle even beyond the means of the people he was stealing from,” Morissette said. “He had us all fooled.” Schwartz, who was fired, was said to have clients in Beyoncé and Mariah Carey, who both appeared at a fundraiser last year in support of a heart disease charity he founded.
Chris Pizzello/AP – Alanis Morissette
Arrives with attorney Allen Grodsky at U.S. federal court for the sentencing in the embezzlement case of her former manager Jonathan Todd Schwartz, in Los Angeles.