David Bunevacz and his wife Jessica Rodriguez lived a life of luxury before he was sentenced to 17 years in prison for a $35 million fraud

How Lamborghini-driving grifter conned dozens of investors out of $35m with fake weed business

David Bunevacz’s life seemed too good to be true.

The good-looking worldwide sportsman, who represented UCLA and the Philippines within the decathlon, roared round Los Angeles in his yellow Lamborghini, returning house to his spouse – a former mannequin – and daughter – a mannequin – for lavish events within the mansion as soon as owned by Kylie Jenner.

To his buddies he was a jet-set businessman who generously included them in his profitable offers and was concerned in California’s booming marijuana business.

The pristine picture fell aside when buddies learnt to their horror that Bunevacz’s seemingly-gilded existence was certainly a sham – after he was arrested and charged final 12 months over a $35million fraud. 

David Bunevacz and his wife Jessica Rodriguez lived a life of luxury before he was sentenced to 17 years in prison for a $35 million fraud

David Bunevacz and his spouse Jessica Rodriguez lived a life of luxurious earlier than he was sentenced to 17 years in jail for a $35 million fraud

Bunevacz and his family lived in this Calabasas mansion, previously owned by Kylie Jenner

Bunevacz and his household lived on this Calabasas mansion, beforehand owned by Kylie Jenner 

Bunevacz’s astonishing rise and fall started in Los Angeles, the place he was born – the son of a Hungarian restaurant proprietor, Joseph Bunevacz, and a Filipina nurse, Filomena, who moved from the Philippines to California within the late Nineteen Sixties

The younger David was a highschool athletics star, excelling in excessive bounce, javelin and hurdles.

He went on to compete for the Philippines on the Southeast Asian Games in 1997, putting second within the decathlon.

Bunevacz settled in Manila, working in tv co-hosting a sports activities and journey TV present, and gaining some minor appearing elements.

He met his spouse Jessica Rodriguez, a mannequin and expertise supervisor, and in 2006 Bunevacz opened a cosmetic surgery clinic in Manila – marketed with a large billboard that learn ‘Miss Ugly No More’.

Jessica Rodriguez is pictured with their daughter Breanna, a model and equestrian

Jessica Rodriguez is pictured with their daughter Breanna, a mannequin and equestrian

The business quickly soured, nonetheless: Bunevacz was accused of swindling investors, and was crushed up, threatened at gunpoint and compelled to signal over his Porsche Cayenne Turbo, based on The Los Angeles Times.

He and his spouse fled the nation, shifting again to California.

Jessica wrote a book for 'polished women'

Jessica wrote a e book for ‘polished girls’

When Bunevacz instructed the story of their departure to 1 good friend, it was, he instructed the paper, ‘a bit of combination of Jason Bourne and Indiana Jones.’

Bunevacz seemed to be thriving in Los Angeles.

His spouse wrote a e book about marrying ‘nicely’ – a guide for what she termed ‘polished girls’.

In 2008, he launched an audacious plan to safe tickets for the Beijing Olympics, partnering up with Gene Hammett, an Atlanta ticket dealer.

Hammett was gained over by the charming and gregarious businessman: Bunevacz invited Hammett to his suite on the Birds Nest stadium, the place they watched Usain Bolt break a world file within the 100-meter dash.

Bunevacz instructed Hammett he may get him tickets for the 2010 winter Olympics, in Vancouver: Hammett paid $2.9 million for 17,000.

The tickets by no means arrived.

Hammett was sued and went bankrupt: he misplaced his house.

The gamily are pictured on one of their frequent luxury vacations

The gamily are pictured on one of their frequent luxurious holidays

Prosecutors displayed Jessica's collection of shoes and handbags

Prosecutors displayed Jessica’s assortment of sneakers and purses

Bunevacz, in the meantime, ripped by Hammett’s money: cash was spent as Tiffany’s, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Giorgio Armani and Hermès, alongside with a Ritz Carlton spa in Georgia and the Bacara resort in Santa Barbara, mentioned Hammett’s lawyer Filippo Marchino.

Vast sums had been transferred to Bunevacz’s account on the Bellagio on line casino in Las Vegas, together with $125,000 simply earlier than Christmas.

‘He was simply burning cash as quickly as he received it,’ mentioned Damon Rogers, one other Hammett legal professional.

The case was settled 4 years later for simply $325,000.

Bunevacz’s swindling continued, in the meantime.

In round 2010 he hit on one other rip-off – providing investors the ‘alternative’ to purchase in to an organization which he claimed was shopping for vape pens from China, and reselling them at a big markup within the U.S.

He satisfied dozens of buddies and acquaintances to take a position, together with his dentist.

The cash was not spent on the business.

His daughter Breanna was thrown a $218,000 social gathering for her sixteenth birthday.

Held on the Skirball Cultural Center in Brentwood, it featured rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie.

She was purchased a $330,000 horse named Vondel, and the elite showjumping circles she moved in gave her father entry to different folks he cheated.

Breanna Bunevacz with her $300,000 horse Vondel - and her YSL bag, at the stables

Breanna Bunevacz with her $300,000 horse Vondel – and her YSL bag, on the stables

Breanna and one of her horses in action

Breanna and one of her horses in motion

Breanna was carving out a profession as a mannequin, and featured within the TV collection ‘Making a Model with Yolanda Hadid’ – the mom of Bella and Gigi. 

In January 2019, he threw his spouse a lavish social gathering at Nobu in Malibu, and commissioned ‘Crazy Rich Asians’-style posters promoting the bash.

The procuring sprees continued: At jewellery shops in Beverly Hills, Bunevacz purchased $209,500 diamond earrings; a diamond ring for $195,000; a Rolex submariner look ahead to $14,215; and three bracelets and two Hermès Birkin baggage for $46,500.

Geoffrey Elliott, a Sheriff’s Department detective on a fraud group in Chatsworth, finally received a search warrant to raid the Calabasas mansion.

Detectives seized information and paperwork which they used to prosecute Bunevacz.

He was arrested in April, and in July pleaded responsible to fraud.

In November he was sentenced to 17 years in jail, and ordered to repay $35 million that he swindled from over 100 investors.

It is assumed unlikely that any of his victims will see their cash once more.

The FBI, Internal Revenue Service, and Securities and Exchange Commission joined the investigation.

Elliott, in his arrest warrant request, known as Bunevacz a ‘peripatetic grifter’ who solid monetary information to con investors out of thousands and thousands.

U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer, who sentenced him in November, determined to exceed the sentencing really useful by prosecutors, saying she felt he confirmed no regret for the lives he ruined.

‘His function was to offer himself and his household with an especially extravagant way of life which they flaunted on social media,’ she mentioned.

‘I’m not within the least persuaded that Mr. Bunevacz regrets something apart from he was caught.’