Former celebrity athlete David Bunevacz was found guilty of defràuding investors in order to fund his cannàbis vape pen business.
David was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison and ordered to pay $35,267,851 in restitution by United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer.
The verdict was delivered on Monday, November 21, 2022 (November 22, Philippine time) at the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
According to court documents, David raised more than $35 million to fund his phony cannabis vaping businesses.
David’s scheme began in 2010, when it was discovered that he had set up several phony cannabis-related companies—CB Holding Group Corp. and Caesarbrutus LLC—to entice potential investors.
According to David, these companies were selling vape pens containing cannabis products such as CBD oil and THC.
David repeatedly deceived investors by forging bank statements, funneling money to shell companies, and lying about his previous legal infractions.
According to a press release issued by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, he “forged documents”—such as bank statements, invoices, and purchase orders—to persuade the investors.
“the vast majority of the funds to pay for his own opulent lifestyle, including a luxurious house in Calabasas, Las Vegas trips, jewelry, designer handbags, a lavish birthday party for his daughter, and horses.” according to the report.
According to Judge Fischer, David “preyed on individuals who thought he was their friend,” and the “seriousness of [his] conduct cannot be captured in mere dollars and cents.”
This is not the first time David has been pursued by the authorities on suspicion of engaging in illegal activities.
In 2010, David was sued for running a ticket-sale scam in connection with the 2010 Winter Olympics.
David allegedly failed to deliver on his promise to reseller Gene Hammett, who paid $3 million for the service, of providing 17,000 tickets to the Winter Olympics.
After that, he was sentenced to 360 days in jail, three years of probation, and 300 hours of community service.
David “preyed on individuals who thought he was their friend,” according to Judge Fischer, and the “seriousness of [his] conduct cannot be captured in mere dollars and cents.”
This is not the first time the authorities have pursued David on suspicion of illegal activity.
David was sued in 2010 for operating a ticket-sale scam in connection with the 2010 Winter Olympics.
David allegedly failed to provide 17,000 tickets to the Winter Olympics to reseller Gene Hammett, who paid $3 million for the service.
He was sentenced to 360 days in jail, three years of probation, and 300 hours of community service after that.
The former athlete was charged with estafa for allegedly squandering company funds to fund his extravagant lifestyle, which became more apparent in the eyes of his business partners after David publicly gifted Jessica a fancy BMW X5.
As retaliation, David was said to have been physically assaulted by his partners.
David, Jessica, and their children fled to the United States as a result of the incident.