L.A. swindler steals millions of dollars in marijuana scams
, 2023-02-01 07:00:39,
During his brief stint as a film actor in Manila, David Bunevacz played a sexy kidnapper named Johnny in a rollicking crime escapade, “Tusong Twosome.”
In one scene, he lounges in bed with a woman in his arms as he haggles over ransom on the phone.
“Honey, they have 10 million to give us,” Johnny tells her. “What do you think?”
“Ten million?” she scoffs. “That’s peanuts. I want my 20 million.”
“Honey, 10 million is a lot of money,” he insists.
Acting, it turned out, was not Bunevacz’s calling; he abandoned show business in the Philippines soon after the movie’s 2001 release.
But Johnny’s pillow talk foreshadowed the brazen life of crime Bunevacz went on to lead back home in Los Angeles, where he put his charisma to work in swindles that made him tens of millions of dollars.
For more than a decade, Bunevacz, now 54, posed as a weed mogul cashing in on California’s booming marijuana trade.
With his self-confidence and gregariousness, he disarmed a long line of marks, dazzling them with stories of how they too could make a fortune in pot. A self-styled expert in psychology, he gauged their vulnerabilities and exploited them with devastating success.
Forging documents to make Holy Smokes Holdings LLC and other fake businesses look real, Bunevacz fleeced more than 100 people, including some of his best friends, a federal judge found. He ripped off his own dentist.
The loot fueled a lifestyle of boundless extravagance, richly detailed in court filings….
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