California man will plead guilty in cannabis pen fraud

LOS ANGELES — A Southern California man who once competed on the Philippines national decathlon team has agreed to plead guilty to bilking investors out of more than $28 million with a phony scheme to market cannabis vape pens, federal prosecutors announced Friday.

David Joseph Bunevacz, 53, of Calabasas, agreed on Wednesday to plead guilty at a later date to securities and wire fraud. He could face up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced in Los Angeles, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

According to his plea agreement, as far back as 2010 Bunevacz created several businesses that he claimed were involved in the cannabis industry and the sale of vape pens, prosecutors said.

He raised tens of millions of dollars from at least 10 investors, prosecutors said.

But instead of financing business operations, Bunevacz used much of it to fund a lifestyle that included a fancy house, Las Vegas trips, jewelry, designer handbags, horses and a lavish birthday party for his daughter, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

Bunevacz is a former University of California, Los Angeles, decathlete and competed for the Philippines in the 1990s.

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