A former UCLA decathlete who competed with the Philippines national team pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges for raising more than $28 million from investors who were falsely told their funds would be used to finance companies marketing cannabis vape pens.
David Bunevacz, 53, of Calabasas, entered his plea to one count each of securities fraud and wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer set sentencing for Nov. 21, at which time Bunevacz will face up to 40 years behind bars.
Bunevacz solicited investments in various businesses — CB Holding Group Corp. and CaesarBrutus LLC, among others — that he claimed were involved in the sale of vape pens containing cannabis products such as CBD oil and THC.
The defendant falsely told at least one investor he had a long-standing 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,” the criminal complaint states.
Bunevacz also provided investors with forged documents, including bank statements, invoices and purchase orders, to support his claims of the businesses’ success and the need for investor funds, according to his plea agreement.