(ESQUIRE Philippines) Former Filipino athlete David Bunevacz has pled guilty to one charge of securities fraud and one case of wire fraud after his fake cannabis vaping business scam fell apart.
Bunevacz is reported to have scammed his clients out of $37 million (around P2 billion).
According to reports from Rolling Stone and Los Angeles Daily News, Bunevacz scammed his clients for more than 10 years, building a fake empire made up of fake vape pens, non-existent business connections, forged bank statements, and forged legal documents.
After pleading guilty to two charges against him, Bunevacz is facing up to 40 years in prison as both crimes have a maximum prison sentence of 20 years each. The U.S. Attorney's office will move to dismiss additional cases against him, including a money laundering case and identity theft case in relation to his fraud charges.
Bunevacz was arrested in April 2022, and he will be sentenced on November 21.
Instead of funding his supposed business, Bunevacz used the money from his clients to maintain his lavish lifestyle by purchasing a large home, trips to Las Vegas, more cars, horses, jewelry, Rolex watches, and Hermes bags, and spending over $200,000 on his daughter's 16th birthday party.
Bunevacz also reportedly gambled away more than $8 million in casinos.
Who is David Bunevacz?
David Bunevacz is a 53-year-old Filipino-American best known for participating in the Southeast Asian Games in the '90s and winning a gold medal after his opponents were disqualified for failed drug tests. He was recruited by then-chairman Philip Juico of the Philippine Sports Commission.
In 2007, Bunevacz and his wife, former Filipino actress Jessica Rodriguez, left the Philippines in haste after cosmetics surgery clinic Beverly Hills 6750 sued them for stealing from the company, which they helped run.
Controversy followed him in the U.S. when in 2010, he was sued by the owner of a Winter Olympics ticket-selling operation for allegedly scamming $3 million. Bunevacz was paid to purchase 17,000 tickets to the Olympics, but the tickets were never sent out, resulting in a court case that was eventually resolved through a $325,000 settlement. It was later discovered that Bunevacz created a fake copy of the agreement that said that Bunevacz won the case.
Meanwhile, in 2015, Bunevacz's ex-girlfriend Anjanette Abayari exposed how Bunevacz also scammed her during and after their relationship when Bunevacz sold her car and Rolex watch without her permission. According to Abayari, he almost sold her condominium before she successfully stopped him.
This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph. Minor edits have been made by the SPIN.ph editors.
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