Alanis Morissette’s manager stole almost $5 million from her, lied about investments

Good lord! Anyone with a manager they trust should go hug them today. Alanis Morissette was royally screwed over by her former business manager, Jonathan Schwartz, as he embezzled almost $5 million dollars from her between 2009 and 2016. In addition to Alanis, he swindled close to $2 million from two additional unnamed clients. And to cover it up, he lied that he was investing in marijuana growth, all the while telling Alanis she shouldn’t work because she was set financially.

Alanis Morissette was robbed of at least $4.7 million by her former business manager, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. 

The singer is suing Jonathan Schwartz and GSO Business Management for breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, fraud and negligence. 

“Defendants concealed these distributions from Morissette, convincing her that she was in tremendous financial shape when, in fact, they were draining her assets and leading her on a road that could have led to financial ruin,” states the complaint.
 
Schwartz handled Morissette’s finances from 2009 to 2016 and was responsible for collecting income, managing investment accounts and paying bills on her behalf. According to the complaint, she fired him in March because he failed to respond in a timely manner to her requests for information about her finances. 

When the singer’s new business manager, Howard Grossman, took over, he found at least 116 cash transfers to Schwartz from Morissette’s accounts during a four-year period, totaling more than $4.7 million.

“There were no documents explaining the nature of these transfers,” states the complaint. “Morissette was completely unaware of these cash transfers and had not authorized them.”

The suit claims, after changing his explanation several times, Schwartz said the money was an “investment” in “one or more illegal marijuana ‘grow’ businesses.”

Morissette claims Schwartz didn’t just steal from her, he also transferred $8 million from investment accounts that were supposed to remain untouched in order to pay for expenses, despite her direction that she should live off her current income and interest.

“When she asked him if she was over budget, he would insist that things were ‘fine,’ that she had ‘nothing to worry about,’ and that she and her future grandkids were ‘set for life,’” states the complaint, which also claims Schwartz convinced the singer to turn down performance offers. “His reasoning was always that she didn’t need to work so hard, because she was so financially secure.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

Thank gawd this a–h-le doesn’t respond to emails in a timely manner or who knows how long this would have gone on? Could you imagine if he had succeeded in losing all her money? I just can’t get over his assuring her she was fine financially as he was stealing her money. And telling her to turn down performances?! This guy sounds like a sociopath in addition to a criminal. I can’t wait to hear where the money going was actually going. How was he going to put it back? Or is there a villa tucked away on some remote land that has his alias painted on the mailbox?

As I mentioned, the other clients Schwartz stole money from have not been made public yet but in addition to Alanis, his former firm, GSO Business Management, is also suing him, probably to get Alanis’ suit off their back. I hope she keeps them on the complaint, they should be held accountable. Schwartz is said to be fully cooperating with the investigation. Well duh – what’s else can he do? He left a paper trail 7-million steps long! Apparently he also falsified a client’s signature to withdraw cash. This guy thought he was bulletproof. The sentence for his crime is 23 years but it’s said his plea deal will get him 4-6 years. I’m sure that serves as cold comfort to Alanis and the others.

Fortunately, Alanis has a great sense of humor. She updated Ironic for 2016 problems and it’s really good. Of course, I imagine the 2017 edition might be a bit more bittersweet:

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Photo Credit: WENN Photos and Getty Images

 

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17 Responses to “Alanis Morissette’s manager stole almost $5 million from her, lied about investments”

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  1. Ramona says:

    I still dont understand how something like this can carry on for 7 years and with such huge sums. Doesnt every rich person know by now to hire an independent auditor to look things over every year?

    • Snazzy says:

      I always wonder about that and honestly, I don’t think they do. Many of these entertainers started young and so probably don’t even think about things like that. You rarely hear about this happening to someone who became famous when they were older … and for good reason.

    • African Sun says:

      @Ramona, it’s a fair point you are making but from what I know it’s possible to have tonnes of investments and not really know where they are.

      There is a reason American Greed has almost been running for 9 years. Some financial advisors go too far and this is an example of that. They have a fiduciary responsibility to do right by their clients.

      Celebrities are vulnerable to this kind of attack.

    • Bridget says:

      I am amazed too. I can’t imagine just handing over access to everything I’ve ever earned and NOT also doing my own due diligence. Especially in Alanis’s line of work, where this kind of thing happens all the time.

    • Izzy says:

      I’m at the same time baffled and feel a little bit of pity for them. I am such a control freak, it’s beyond my comprehension how any of these celebrities can wholesale turn over control of their lives to others – which is what they do. Professional athletes do it as well. I would freak. I’m a full-time nonprofit exec, and help with my family’s RE investments on the side. I’m the junior leaguer in the family business, but I look at our statements every month; I’m the one that updates our books every month to track our investments; and I’m copied on all emails concerning our investments, including mobile deposit confirmations that are forwarded. I meet with my brother – who manages our investments – at least three times a year specifically to go over everything.

      How do some of these people give their assistants, managers, etc., access to their money and NOT insist on seeing receipts and statements monthly? I would just freak if I lost control of my own money like that.

    • Louise177 says:

      I don’t understand it either. With so many scams and thieves I would think celebrities and the wealthy would be more cautious. Not only getting a second accountant but watching your own money.

  2. LR says:

    My prevailing thought whenever I see her in the news is that I still can’t believe she dated Ryan Reynolds for a substantial amount of years…

  3. Millenial says:

    I just watched the James Corden video, and she’s so funny. I’m glad she has a sense of humor about it. I hope this works out in her favor and she gets her money back.

  4. Boxy Lady says:

    Floyd Mayweather makes 100s of millions of dollars and spends gobs of it on things like jewelry and gambling on sports but he knows where his money is. He says he trusts no one and he follows his accounts himself. And I remember a Courtney Love interview years ago where she said Madonna showed Courtney the checkbook and ledger where Madonna writes her checks for her employees and what not. It literally pays to keep track of your finances, whoever you are and however much you have.

  5. HookedonCoffee says:

    Um, take it from a chick who uses the DSM V to navigate her screwed family. The smartest criminals are sociopaths. The most compassionate thing you can say about those guys is that people like them broke them as children.

    Wasn’t Alanis statuarily raped by a manager/producer/agent as a teenager?

    For heaven’s sake, if anyone is a textbook case for how the talent industry is staffed by predators, it must be this poor woman.

    My heart goes out.

  6. Lisa says:

    Holy shit, that’s awful. She’s been one of my favourite singers since JLP came out. I’m surprised that she gave him such control since she’s been in the business for so long, and knows how untrustworthy people can be, especially as your fame grows. Hope she kicks his ass for this.

  7. Emily C. says:

    More and more, I’m thinking the entire “management” class of the Hollywood and music industry is nothing but a bunch of corrupt parasites. I bet a lot of them resent the people they bleed money from for having talent.