Former decathlete at UCLA was sentenced
Former decathlete at UCLA was sentenced: According to the announcement made by the Department of Justice on Monday, a former track and field star who is now said to be pursuing a career in business was given a sentence of 17 and a half years in federal prison for allegedly defrauding investors in the cannabis industry out of more than $45 million in their investments.
David Bunevacz, age 53, is accused of deceiving investors, some of whom reportedly faced severe financial instability, into paying for his personal vacations, horses, designer garments, and even his family’s home in Calabasas, which the authorities described as being “luxurious” in a news release. Bunevacz is also accused of deceiving investors into paying for his own designer garments. According to the information provided by the Justice Department, Bunevacz is suspected of defrauding individuals by soliciting financial contributions from them under the guise of business opportunities and assuring them that their money would be used to finance businesses that specialise in the distribution of vape pens for cannabis.
According to the investigators, his alleged scam can be traced back to at least the year 2010, when Bunevacz began to construct corporate companies with names such as CB Holding Group Corp. and Caesarbrutus LLC. Allegedly, Bunevacz stated that the companies were engaged in the cannabis market, and more especially, the selling of vape pens that included cannabis goods such as CBS oil and THC. It is also alleged that he told at least one investor misleading information on his relationship with a Chinese producer of disposable vape pens that were of a high grade and did not contain any hazardous ingredients.
In the meantime, Bunevacz is also arrested on suspicion of registering shell companies, some of which acquired names from existing legitimate businesses, in order “to establish the false impression that his companies were engaged in legit business activities,” as stated by the Justice Department. Bunevacz is accused of doing this in order to “create the false impression that his companies were involved in legitimate business activities.” It would appear that he went to great lengths to put some distance between himself and the shell companies by naming other persons, including his stepdaughter, as the corporate officers of those companies rather than himself.
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The filing that was made in the federal court implies that Bunevacz raised up to at least $45.2 million in fraudulent investments from more than 100 victims, according to the statement made by the Justice Department. The United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer, who handed down the sentence of 210 months in federal prison to Bunevacz, stated that the defendant was responsible for losses that amounted to more than $35 million.
As per the Justice Department, the prosecution stated in a sentencing memo that “the assault on personal dignity, the sense of violation, and the lasting anguish [Bunevacz] has created are very much evocative of the harm that is often associated with violent crimes.” “And with well over a hundred victims, [Bunevacz] perpetrated these harms at a scale rarely witnessed,” the sentence continues.”
Following his time at UCLA, where he excelled as a decathlete, Bunevacz went on to represent the Philippines in track and field competitions with the national squad. Jessica Rodriguez, who is also an actor and model, is his wife, and the couple has three children together. According to the information provided by the Justice Department, Bunevacz had previously been convicted of a felony for the illegal selling of securities in 2017. After being arrested for the first time in April, Bunevacz entered a guilty plea in July, admitting guilt to one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud. He is still being held by the federal government.
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