Former Hollywood business manager, Jonathan Schwartz, penned a letter of apology to his clients and community after pleading guilty to charges relating to embezzling millions from his clients.
He wrote the open letter for The Hollywood Reporter, which tells his side of the story and involves his gambling addiction after turning to sports betting to blow off some steam from his job.
“At first, I ‘borrowed’ a little from clients, with the hopes that I would pay them back if I won that night’s bet,” Schwartz writes. “That snowballed, and as I kept losing, I kept stealing. I kept telling myself that I just needed one lucky break, and I’ll pay them back.”
His “one lucky break” never came but Schwartz said he’s thankful for that.
“[W]hen I was finally caught, a bright spotlight shined on my deplorable conduct,” he writes in the letter. “I could not hide any longer and hit rock bottom. By seeing how pathetic I had become, I finally got the courage to ask for help.”
Earlier this year, Morissette’s former manager admitted to defrauding her and other clients.
Schwartz stole US$4.8 million from Morissette and US$7 million overall. He worked with the Ironic singer from 2009 to 2016, and was sued by the singer in May 2016 for draining her assets.
Schwartz pleaded guilty to federal charges on Jan. 18. He was charged with wire fraud and filing a false tax return for failing to report the embezzled funds to the IRS, prosecutors said.
He admitted stealing nearly US$5 million from Morissette between May 2010 and January 2014. He used the money personally and falsely listed the cash withdrawals as “sundry/personal expenses” to cover up the crime.
When confronted about the theft, Schwartz lied and said he had invested the money in an illegal marijuana growing business, prosecutors said.
Schwartz, who worked for GSO Business Management, also admitted to stealing US$1.7 million from two other clients who were not named by the U.S. attorney’s office.
Morissette sued Schwartz last year in Los Angeles Superior Court, but they reached a confidential settlement.
Schwartz is set to be sentenced on May 3.