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Bunevacz sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for pyramid scheme

FORMER actor and decathlete David Bunevacz was sentenced by a US district court to more than 17 years in federal prison for amassing some $35 million from more than 100 victim-investors who he defrauded into investing in his cannabis vaping business in a purported pyramiding scheme.

A report from the US Department of Justice, published in Inquirer. net  stated that the 53-year-old former UCLA decathlete that also competed with the Philippines national team had been sentenced by US District Judge Dale S. Fischer on Monday (US time) to 210 months in federal prison.

Based on the report, Bunevacz’s investors were told that their funds would be used to finance companies marketing cannabis vape pens. The use of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes is legal in California, though the industry is strictly regulated to make sure that businesses are operating safely.

During the sentencing in Los Angeles, Judge Fischer claimed that Bunevacz had “preyed on individuals who believed he was their friend” and that the “seriousness of [his] conduct cannot be captured in mere dollars and cents.”

Bunevacz, whose real name is David Joseph Bunevacz, and who is based in the affluent Calabasas area in California, was likewise ordered to pay $35,267,851 in restitution.

The court also found that Bunevacz continued to perpetrate his scheme even while serving probation for a state court conviction, concluding, “Not even a criminal conviction and the threat of jail convinced [Bunevacz] to become a law-abiding citizen.”

Securities fraud, opulent lifestyle

Last July, Bunevacz pleaded guilty at a later date to securities and wire fraud, and has been in federal custody since his arrest in April.

Citing court documents, the US DOJ said that Bunevacz falsely told at least one investor he had a longstanding relationship with a Chinese manufacturer of disposable vape pens and he obtained “raw pesticide-free oil” that was sent to a “lab that infuses the flavors into the oil with our proprietary custom process that renders the vape flavoring smooth and discrete.”

Bunevacz also provided investors with forged documents – such as bank statements, invoices and purchase orders – to support his claims of the businesses’ success and the need for investor funds.

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