A California business manager pleaded guilty to embezzlement on Jan. 18. The former partner at Sherman Oaks-based GSO Business Management was sued last year by one of his clients, singer Alanis Morissette. In a plea agreement, the manager admitted that he had embezzled $4.8 million from Morissette, over $1 million from another client and $737,500 from yet another client.
The manager admitted that he embezzled his clients’ money by forging signatures and falsely coding cash withdrawals. He has been charged with wire fraud as well as signing a false tax return. Though the manager’s fraud activities have a maximum sentence of up to 23 years in federal prison, the manager may only be handed a sentence of between four and six years behind bars as part of his plea agreement. He is expected to appear in court on Feb. 1.
A U.S. attorney who commented on the case said that money managers have a fiduciary duty to preserve the value of their clients’ assets. A special agent with IRS Criminal Investigation said that the manager was also legally bound to report all of his income to the IRS, even if some of the income was derived through embezzlement.
Professionals who are responsible for managing other people’s money are sometimes falsely accused of embezzlement. When this happens, they may want to have representation from a criminal defense attorney in order to work to prevent any subsequent criminal charges from going forward.
Source: Deadline, “Manager Admits He Embezzled $4.8M From Alanis Morissette,” David Robb, Jan. 18, 2017