You Otta Know...

Alanis Morissette’s breakout album Jagged Little Pill, is one of those awesome albums that stands the test of time. Ironic as it may seem, many of the song titles relate to what has happened to her recently. Songs like You Otta Know, Hand in Pocket, Ironic (oops, already said that one), Right Through You, and You Learn. But definitely NOT Forgiven.

In January, 2017, Alanis Morissette’s former business manager had admitted embezzling more than $7 million from the singer and others artists. Jonathan Todd Schwartz, 48, was charged with wire fraud and filing false tax returns. He admitted stealing from Morissette between May 2010 and January 2014.

So just how did he do that?

Schwartz offered financial guidance to his clients and helped handle their personal finances, including bank accounts and tax returns. He forged Morissette’s signature and misrepresented withdrawals from her accounts as them being Alanis’ “sundry/personal expenses,” and he used the money personally to support his lavish lifestyle. His job was to protect her money by managing it professionally, but instead he took it from her and lived the glamourous life.

How did she find out?

Morissette decided to take her business somewhere else. It was her new financial manager who discovered millions of dollars gone missing. Second opinions are always good.

How can you avoid having this happen to you?

Be proactive. Insist to review your statements. Listen to your gut. Don’t have all your managers in one basket. Have different and unrelated advisors. Just like a guitar player is not generally the drummer in the band (unless you are Dave Grohl), a business manager is generally not the financial advisor. If your business manager pulls up in a new Masarati, or goes on fancy vacations, question it. If it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.

As for Swartz? His plea deal calls could get him between four and six years in a federal prison, though he could be sentenced to up to 23 years. 


photo credit: MvanM alanis morissette @ pinkpop 2008 via photopin (license)

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