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Alanis Morissette says manager swindled millions

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Rocker Alanis Morissette has sued her former business manager for allegedly stealing US$4.7 million from her savings.

[LOS ANGELES] Rocker Alanis Morissette has sued her former business manager for allegedly stealing US$4.7 million from her savings.

The Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer, a giant in the alternative rock boom of the 1990s, said her former manager cost her US$15 million overall both through theft and other malfeasance.

Morissette said that Jonathan Schwartz made at least 116 cash transfers worth a total of US$4,767,900 without her knowledge from 2010 to 2014.

Schwartz convinced Morissette that her savings were in "fantastic" shape while in fact the transfers were "draining her assets and leading her on a road that could have led to financial ruin," she said in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Morissette said that she in fact wanted to live solely on her current income and interest and had instructed Schwartz not to touch her investments.

The singer said she turned down a "lucrative" offer to perform five shows in Las Vegas after Schwartz convinced her that she did not need the money.

Morissette said she fired Schwartz in March this year after growing suspicious when he could not provide timely information on her finances.

When a new manager discovered the alleged theft, the lawsuit said that Schwartz came up with fictitious explanations including saying that the singer was investing in the marijuana business.

Morissette also named in the suit GSO Business Management, where Schwartz was a partner, saying the prominent Los Angeles-area firm bore responsibility.

"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 lawsuit said.

GSO Business Management filed a separate lawsuit against Schwartz, who could not be reached for comment.

The firm said it suspended Schwartz after the allegations came to light and was seeking an undetermined amount in damages as well as his formal dismissal.

The company said its own investigation revealed that Schwartz sustained a "lavish lifestyle" that included a US$50,000 vacation to the Pacific island of Bora Bora, a US$75,000 debt from a casino in The Bahamas and "substantial" unpaid taxes.

Morissette was the voice behind a string of energetic rock anthems in the mid-1990s including You Oughta Know, Hand In My Pocket and You Learn. Her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill won the Grammy for Album of the Year, making the then 21-year-old Morissette the youngest winner of the prestigious award until Taylor Swift.

Morissette's lawsuit comes a decade after a court found that a former manager had stolen some US$5 million from Leonard Cohen, another prominent Canadian artist who settled in Los Angeles.

AFP