Alanis Morissette refuses to accept former business manager’s apology for fraud
By Andy Malt | Published on Wednesday 12 April 2017
Alanis Morissette’s former business manager Jonathan Schwartz has written an open letter apologising for stealing millions of dollars from her and others. The musician, in response, was not in a particularly forgiving mood.
As previously reported, earlier this year Schwartz pleaded guilty to stealing $7 million dollars from a number of his clients, the bulk of which – almost $5 million – was embezzled from Morissette’s accounts. He is also admitted to failing to pay tax on the money he stole.
Originally Schwartz claimed that the money had been invested in an illegal marijuana growing operation, which was why there was no paper trail for the missing funds. However, he eventually admitted to stealing the cash to pay for “a lavish lifestyle”. He now awaits sentencing next month, facing anything between four and 23 years in prison.
In his letter, published by the Hollywood Reporter, Schwartz said that he had taken the money to cover escalating gambling debts.
“At first, I ‘borrowed’ a little from clients, with the hopes that I would pay them back if I won that night’s bet”, he 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. That lucky break never came”.
Blaming the stress of his job on his spiral into gambling addiction, he adds that he’s glad that he was eventually caught, despite now facing a lengthy jail sentence. “When I was finally caught, a bright spotlight shined on my deplorable conduct. 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”.
He goes on to say that he “will spend the rest of my life asking for forgiveness and making amends to everyone I have hurt”. In the case of Morissette, he’s certainly not there yet.
In a statement responding to Schwartz’s letter, the musician said: “I would be apprehensive to believe any words that come out of Jonathan Schwartz’s mouth”.
The fraud was initially uncovered during an audit of Morissette’s accounts. Before the criminal charges against Schwartz, she sued him over the missing money last May. They later reached an undisclosed settlement.