- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pop singer Alanis Morissette sued her former business manager for fraud after she discovered nearly $5 million had disappeared from her bank account during the past several years.

Documents filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Ms. Morissette’s attorneys allege Jonathan Schwartz of GSO Business Management misappropriated about $4.8 million of the Grammy winner’s finances by conducting 116 unauthorized cash withdrawals from her account between 2010 and 2014.

Ms. Morissette fired Mr. Schwartz in March 2016, according to the complaint, and soon after learned through her new business manager, Howard Grossman, that millions had gone missing as the result of suspicious crash transactions.

“When I fired Jonathan Schwartz and GSO two months ago, I had no idea the extent of the misconduct,” Ms. Morissette said in a publicist-issued statement, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

When Mr. Schwartz was confronted about the missing money, he allegedly told the singer’s new business manager that he withdrew large amounts from Ms. Morissette’s account and kept them in his safe so neither would have to go to the bank too often.

“This statement was false,” the singer’s lawyer fired back in the complaint. “During the course of her representation by defendants, Morissette did not spend large amounts of cash and never received more than a few hundred dollars in cash from defendants at any given time.”

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Schwartz then claimed the withdrawals were done to fund a marijuana-growing business for the singer, which she denies.

The nine-page complaint filed this week accuses the singer’s former business manager of breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, fraud and negligence, and seeks damages from both GSO and Mr. Schwartz in excess of $15 million.

“It is inconceivable that a sophisticated certified public accounting and business management firm — which counts some of the world’s wealthiest celebrities amongst its clientele — would permit a partner to withdraw millions of dollars in cash from a client’s account without a red light going off somewhere,” the complaint said.

“Defendants concealed 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,” it continued.

In a separate suit week, GSO sued Mr. Schwartz in hopes of having him judicially expelled from the firm once and for all, Courthouse News reported. That complaint alleges the management company’s own investigation determined Mr. Schwartz had been “burning through money to sustain a lavish lifestyle” and recently racked up $75,000 in gambling debt during a trip to the Bahamas.

“We stand by every word in our complaint. This is a simple case of embezzlement and cover up. Any challenge to our complaint would be inconsistent with GSO’s complaint filed yesterday against Jonathan Schwartz,” Allen Grodsky, a litigation attorney for the singer, told Wall Street Journal.

Ms. Morissette, 41, won best female rock vocal performance, best rock song, best rock album and album of the year at the 1996 Grammy Awards.


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