Alanis Morissette’s Manager Gets Six Years for Stealing Millions, Blames Gambling Addiction
Posted on: May 4, 2017, 05:00h.
Last updated on: May 4, 2017, 11:51h.
Alanis Morissette may be reflecting that it’s a little ironic that her business manager, Jonathan Schwartz, a man who was supposed to keep her affairs in order and manage her money, ended up pilfering all her cash and causing havoc.
On Wednesday, Schwartz, 47, was sentenced to six years in prison for stealing over $7 million from Morissette and others, and ordered to pay $8.6 million in restitution.
“I alone am responsible for the devastation,” said Schwartz, who wept at the hearing. “I will spend the rest of my life asking for forgiveness.”
One Hand in Her Pocket…
Schwartz, a partner in the firm GSO Business Management, who himself earned $1.2 million a year, admitted stealing almost $5 million from Morissette between May 2010 and January 2014, and more than $2 million from five other clients who have not been named. He claims he did it to fund his gambling addiction.
“At first, I ‘borrowed’ a little from clients, with the hopes that I would pay them back if I won that night’s bet. That snowballed, and as I kept losing, I kept stealing,” Schwartz wrote in a mea culpa, published in the Hollywood Reporter last month.
But prosecutors painted a different picture: one of a calculated schemer who stole to fund a greedy and extravagant lifestyle and not because he was in the throws of a self-destructive illness.
“Every expression of remorse he has made and every purported act of self-improvement he has taken occurred only after he realized he had no ‘choice’ to do otherwise,” Assistant US Attorney Ranee Katzenstein said in a court filing.
The Mess You Left…
The court heard how Schwartz was at first able to hide the money he stole by claiming Morissette was a spendthrift who built studios and bought houses against his advice. When confronted with the theft, he claimed she was a drug addict who was mentally unstable.
“I’d go on tours he recommended and they would lose money, but he’d still urge me to spend! Spend! Spend! He was creating an alibi from the start,” said Morissette in a statement to the court.
“He not only stole $5 million in cash from me, he stole a dream,” she said, adding that the betrayal of trust had “shaken her to the core.”
His former partner in the business, Bernard Gudvi, said in addition to the stolen money Schwartz’s actions are expected to cause $20 million-worth of damage due to the blow to the company’s reputation.