By Hayden Wright
Jonathan Schwartz, the entertainment business manager who pled guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax return in the embezzlement of money from superstar clients, was sentenced to six years in prison.
Schwartz will serve 72 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, during which he will undergo compulsory addiction treatment, reports The Hollywood Reporter. He is also on the hook for $8.7 million in restitution to victims.
Alanis Morissette was the high-profile victim of his financial crimes, and reports suggest she lost more than $5 million in his embezzlement schemes.
Schwartz penned an open letter describing his descent into gambling addiction and asked the judge for leniency. His attorney proposed a one-year sentence followed by one year of house arrest and 2,000 hours of community service.
“At first, I ‘borrowed’ a little from clients, with the hopes that I would pay them back if I won that night’s bet. 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…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.”
After his apology, Morissette said: “I would be apprehensive to believe any words that come out of Jonathan Schwartz’s mouth.” During the testimony, she requested “a sentence that sends a crystal-clear message.”
U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee admitted that sentencing guidelines are “draconian,” but Schwartz’s case was “one of those rare occasions where I think the guidelines are not harsh enough.”