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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Former UCLA decathlete pleads guilty to cannabis-vaping scandal

Former Ucla Decathlete Pleads Guilty To Cannabis-Vaping Scandal

A former UCLA decathlete who competes with the Philippines national team has pleaded guilty to federal charges for raising more than $37 million from investors that his money was used to finance companies marketing cannabis vapor pens. federal prosecutors announced Friday, July 1.

David Buenavaz, 53, of Calabasas, agreed to plead guilty to one count each of securities fraud and wire fraud, according to the settlement of his plea filed Friday in Los Angeles federal court.

Each offense carries a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison.

Bunevaz has been in federal custody since his arrest in April.

According to the criminal complaint, Bunevacz solicited investments in various businesses that he claimed were involved in the sale of vape pens containing CBD oil and cannabis products such as THC.

The defendant falsely told at least one investor that he had a long-standing relationship with a Chinese manufacturer of disposable vape pens and received pesticide-free oil that was sent to a laboratory that affected taste, the complaint said. has gone.

Prosecutors allege that Bunevacz also provided investors with forged documents, including bank statements, invoices and purchase orders, to support their claims of the business’s success and need for investor funds.

According to an affidavit, Buevaz misappropriated most of the money to pay for his affluent lifestyle, “a luxurious house in Calabasas, trips to Las Vegas, jewelry, designer handbags, a lavish birthday party for his daughter and horses.” Including,” according to an affidavit filed with. Grievance

He reportedly spent $8,143,500 at the casino, paid $218,700 to an event planner in connection with a birthday party, and bought a horse for $330,000.

According to federal prosecutors, some of the investor funds were allegedly used to repay earlier investors in line with a Ponzi scheme.

Buevaz’s blog described his success as a former decathlete who competed for the Philippines, and that his wife and daughter appeared on a reality television show, the affidavit said.

The investigation revealed that Bunevaz made attempts to hide negative information from investors, such as his felony convictions for the unlawful sale of securities in 2017, prosecutors allege.

After an investor busted a civil lawsuit against Bunevacz, the defendant allegedly emailed a fake version of the settlement agreement to falsely pretend he was paid $325,000 as part of a settlement. . In fact, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Buevaz had agreed to pay $325,000.

Operating through its cannabis companies, Bunevacz raised between $37.1 million and $45 million from more than 10 victim-investors. Prosecutors said he admitted to causing damages of at least $28.4 million.

World Nation News Desk
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