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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

Calabasas Man Agrees to Plead Guilty in Multi-million Dollar Fraud Case

David Joseph Bunevacz, 53, of Calabasas is expected to plead guilty to two federal criminal charges for scamming business investors out of at least $28 million.

Bunevacz, a former UCLA decathlete, told investors that the funds would be used for financing companies marketing cannabis vape pens, according to the Department of Justice. Bunevacz agreed to plead guilty to one count of securities fraud and another count of wire fraud, according to a plea agreement filed on July 1 in the United States District Court.

According to a plea agreement dating back to 2010, Bunevacz created businesses he claimed were involved in the cannabis industry, such as Holy Smokes Holdings LLC and Caesarbrutus LLC.

Bunevacz convinced investors of his companies’ legitimacy by falsely telling them he had a longstanding relationship with a manufacturer of disposable vape pens in China. Forged documents such as bank statements, invoices and purchase orders were provided to investors to further substantiate his claims of his success and the need for funding.

The funds gained from the business investors were used to pay for a luxury home in Calabasas, jewelry, designer handbags, horses and Las Vegas trips according to the Department of Justice.

Bunevacz raised between $37,166,737 and $45,068,227 from more than 10 victim-investors through his cannabis companies. He has admitted to causing losses of at least $28,409,112.

Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk is a managing editor at the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. She previously covered real estate for the Los Angeles Business Journal. She has done work with publications including The Orange County Register, The Real Deal and doityourself.com.

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