A business manager who stole more than $7 million from 'Jagged Little Pill' singer Alanis Morissette and others was sentenced Wednesday to six years in federal prison and ordered to pay $8.6million in restitution.
Jonathan Todd Schwartz, 47, wept and apologized at the hearing, saying he took full responsibility for his behavior and would have a life of shame because of it. 'I alone am responsible for the devastation,' he said, adding: 'I will spend the rest of my life asking for forgiveness.'
He could have faced more than 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax crimes but Judge Dolly Gee hewed to sentencing guidelines that suggested around five to six years.
In a victim statement at the hearing, Morissette had urged a stiff sentence, saying Schwartz had stolen her trust and her money for years.
'He did this in a long, systematic, drawn-out and sinister manner' that would have bankrupted the singer within three years had the thefts continued, Morissette said.
Schwartz acknowledged stealing nearly $4.8million from Morissette between May 2010 and January 2014 and more than $2 million from five unnamed clients when he worked at GSO Business Management, a firm that touted relationships with entertainers such as Katy Perry, 50 Cent and Tom Petty.
Canadian Morissette was one of the late '90s most successful singers, selling 60million albums worldwide, known for her hits 'You Oughta Know,' 'Ironic,' and 'Hand in My Pocket.'
Schwartz was a high-flying partner making $1.2million a year, according to court papers.
His crimes cost the firm at least $2million above what insurance covered, led to layoffs of about a dozen employees and is expected to cause some $20million in financial fallout because of the blow to the firm's reputation, according to founder Bernard Gudvi.
The embezzlement was discovered by a new money manager Morissette hired.
'It was at this time, I realized he also stole my dreams,' she said.
When the firm was contacted about the apparent theft, Schwartz made 'wild accusations' that his former client was in the throes of drug addiction and mentally unstable, Gudvi said.
Schwartz also falsely claimed he invested the money in an illegal marijuana growing business.