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NBA athletes are generally financially well off individuals. Sometimes people can try to take advantage of it. We have seen athletes being defrauded in the past as they are targeted by people who want to acquire their money/assets.
One of these athletes was Richard Jefferson. A 2017 ESPN article reported that a former business manager for Richard Jefferson was accused of “swindling” him out of “$7 million during his NBA career”.
A former Richard Jefferson business manager has been accused of defrauding the Cleveland Cavaliers of $7 million during his NBA career.
According to a June 14 indictment in U.S. District Court in Tucson, Arizona, which was obtained by the Arizona Daily Star, Theodore Kritza was charged with 22 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Kritza allegedly forged Jefferson’s signature in 2005 to take power of attorney over the NBA player. According to the Daily Star, Jefferson only learned of this in 2012.
The ex-manager is accused of fraudulently taking $6.99 million from Jefferson between 2004 and 2013.
Although it was an unfortunate event, it looks like Theodore Kritza will eventually face some major consequences. A press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona revealed that Kritza will face 70 months in prison and will have to pay nearly $5 million “in restitution” to Richard Jefferson. That’s less than the amount he was charged with stealing, but it’s a good development nonetheless.
Theodore Itsvan Joseph Kritza, 46, of Superior, Colorado (formerly of Chandler, Arizona), was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson to 70 months in prison, followed by five years of probation. 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.
Clearly, this was an unfortunate situation for Richard Jefferson. Dealing with fraud is not easy, and it is good that the criminal ends up being justly punished for his actions.
Richard Jefferson is currently an NBA analyst for ESPN, known for his hilarious appearance on television. Although he’s probably still well off, it’s great to see he’ll get his money back. Sometimes there is still justice in the world.