NBA player’s personal assistant sentenced to 70 months for theft of $4.7 million | USAO-AZ


TUCSON, Ariz. – Theodore Itsvan Joseph Kritza, 46, of Superior, Colorado (formerly of Chandler, Ariz.), was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson to 70 months in prison, followed by five years of freedom monitored. Kritza was also ordered to pay $4,794,874 in restitution to the victim. Kritza previously pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud.

In April 2005, the victim, an NBA player, hired Kritza to serve as his personal assistant, handling his daily tasks, including paying his bills. Between 2005 and 2012, Kritza fraudulently obtained funds by forging the victim’s signature on more than two dozen documents, including business loans, line of credit applications and power of attorney. Kritza also forged his employer’s signature to open a bank account in the victim’s name so that Kritza could conceal his use of the victim’s personal funds. Kritza stole money from the victim’s salary, endorsement contract, and condo sale. Kritza then used the stolen funds to maintain a lavish lifestyle for her family which included expensive luxury cars, homes, vacations, private tuition for her children, business investments, and the attempted purchase of homes. ‘a plane.

“We see this scenario over and over again,” U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino said. “A confidant abuses a position of trust and embezzles someone else’s property. Thank you to our FBI partners for their hard work on the investigation.

“For years, Theodore Kritza took advantage of the trust he had gained with the victim and cheated him out of his hard-earned money and savings, choosing greed over trust. Today Kritza discovered the cost of his scheme,” said Sean Kaul, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office. “This conviction sends a clear message that fraud is a serious crime, with serious consequences. The FBI remains committed to obtaining justice for all victims of fraud.”

The FBI conducted the investigation in this case. Assistant United States Attorneys Sandra M. Hansen and Jane L. Westby of the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Section of the United States Attorney’s Office in Tucson handled the prosecution.

RELEASE NUMBER: 2022-047_Kritza

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