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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.”
Morissette is seeking damages in excess of $15 million.
GSO also is suing Schwartz. That suit, filed Monday, claims the company started digging into Schwartz’s behavior after Grossman confronted him.
“The investigation revealed that Mr. Schwartz was burning through money to sustain a lavish lifestyle, including a $50,000 vacation to Bora Bora and an outstanding gambling dept of $75,000 at a Casino in the Bahamas,” states the complaint. “He also owes the U.S. government a substantial sum for unpaid taxes.”
GSO is seeking to judicially expel Schwartz from the firm, punitive damages and wants him to repay a $588,000 advance he was given by the company.
Schwartz is no longer listed as a partner on the firm’s website.
May 17, 5:15 p.m. Updated with information from GSO’s suit against Schwartz.
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